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New Federal Regs Govern Truck Driver Hours & Cell Phone Use

New Federal Regs Govern Truck Driver Hours & Cell Phone Use

Today (January 3, 2011), new federal regulations go into effect prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in interstate commerce.  According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, “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.”  Further, employers “that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000.”  Click HERE to view this new rule promulgated by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Click HERE to review a helpful FMCSA document titled “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)–Ban on Hand Held Cellular Phones.”

 The new regulation follows the promulgation in September 2010 by FMCSA and last February by PHMSA of regulations banning texting by drivers operating CMVs.  View the texting ban rule which went into effect on October 27, 2010 HERE.

Second, on July 1, 2013, changes to the federal Hours of Service regulations will go into effect.  (The Hours of Service regulation’s new definition of “on-duty time” will go into effect somewhat earlier – on February 27, 2012.)  In addition to the on-duty time definition, the new Hours of Service regulations affect rest breaks and the 34-hour re-start period.  To view the new Hours of Service rule and/or several helpful documents related to it, please go to the FMCSA website at:

To see a summary of the differences between the current HOS Rule and the new HOS final rule, go to: New Hours-of-Service Final Rule