Federal Texting While Driving Ban Goes Into Effect

January 27th, 2010 by

MADISON, Wis. (channel3000) — Starting Tuesday, it is illegal for semitrailer or bus drivers to text message while driving.
The new federal ban carries a hefty fine, but the question now is whether a new federal law will really stop texting while driving.
The federal ban prohibits all interstate commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving, including semitrailer drivers.
The hope is to cut down on distractions that that lead to crashes.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said that in 2008 6,000 people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving and 500,000 were injured.
But traffic experts and drivers alike said they aren’t sure how the ban can be enforced.

“We’re not sure how we’re going to work that out. Often dialogue between a law enforcement officer and the driver will clear some of that up, but in some cases law enforcement is just simply not going to be able to tell,” Dan Lonsdorf, of the Wisconsin State Patrol.
“I think they’re going to do it until they get caught. I think they will be some guys that will quit,” said Don Reid, a truck driver from Illinois.
“I think companies would have to be the ones who’d enforce it,” said Justin Kahren, a truck driver from Emerald, Wis.
Some trucking and bus companies already have policies that prohibit drivers from texting or using their phones at all.
Truckers said there’s “no excuse” for truckers to text because it’s hard to maintain control of the rig and text.
At a Madison area truck stop, truckers said they are all for the ban — even for truckers and the public alike who they say they constantly see texting.
Commercial drivers caught texting now face up to $2,750 in fines.


2 Responses

  1. E.

    This is an important law. I am a law enforcement officer in central Florida and have seen what kind of destruction can be caused by an absent minded driver texting or talking on cellphones. However, the state Florida has chosen to use increased fines to bring drivers into compliance with the traffic laws of the state. While this is effective, I will use my 10 seconds on this highly visable platform to voice some frustration. Maybe you can provide me with a reasonable explanation why in this state of Florida, the fine for most any moving and non-moving violation is higher than that of the fine set forth for failure in yielding to emergency vehicles. Specifically, you will be fined substantially more for running a red light than not moving over and providing room for emergency services personnel as they are working on the road. As an officer I have learned that more officers are killed each year by vehicles and vehicle crashes than any gun ever will. So when creating the fine schedule, the state of Florida felt that a law designed to protect emergency service personnel was considered less than that of a speeding ticket. Merely some food for thought. Thanks E.

  2. Krystal Kid

    80% percent of all rear end collisions (The most frequent vehicle accident) are caused by driver inattention, following too closely, external distraction (talking on cell phones, shaving, applying makeup, fiddling with the radio or CD player, texting, etc.) and poor judgment. I doubt if we’ll ever stop the madness so I got one of these sparebumper.com

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