DOT Bans Commercial Drivers from Texting While Driving

Last month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that, effective immediately, drivers of commercial vehicles are prohibited from texting while driving.

This is the latest step in a series of actions recently taken by the federal government to combat accidents caused by distracted drivers. Any commercial truck or bus driver who violates this ban will be subject to both civil and criminal penalties up to $2,750.

Research from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that drivers who send, receive, and read text messages while driving end up taking their eyes of the road for an average of 4.6 out of 6 seconds. If a driver travels at 55 mph, this equates to traveling the length of a football field without ever looking at the road.

The FMCSA's research also found that people who text while driving are 20 times more likely to get in an accident than those drivers who are not distracted.

Secretary LaHood announced during a distracted driving summit in September that his department plans to aggressively pursue regulatory action and rulemaking to reduce the risks associated with distracted driving.

The transportation department isn't the only federal entity trying to combat distracted driving. President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving a government-owned vehicle or government-owned equipment, effective December 30, 2009.

If you have received a traffic ticket for texting while driving in Orange County, or if you caused an accident while texting while driving and have since been charged with reckless driving or a related offense, an attorney at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry can help. To arrange a consultation with a knowledgeable Orange County criminal defense attorney at the office, please call (866) 902-6880 or click here to fill out a free case evaluation.