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December 16, 2011

DOT Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Commercial Drivers Effective Jan. 3

A new DOT rule takes effect January 3, 2012 that specifically prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. New sanctions are also in place for drivers and carriers that violate the rule.

No Cell Phone Label
Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations.

Motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving, and will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.

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