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Response grows to FMCSA rule to ban texting while driving

May 6, 2010

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By the May 3 close of a public comment period on a proposed rulemaking (.pdf file) that would prohibit texting while driving for commercial truck and bus drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had received 404 comments.

Comments submitted by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in Grain Valley, MO, supported the ban, as did comments from the Washington-based Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. AHAS also warned FMCSA that "while CDL [commercial driver's license] drivers will be prohibited from texting while operating CMVs, texting by drivers operating small buses, transporting between 8- to 15-passengers including a driver, who are not required to have a CDL, will not be prohibited by federal regulation from texting while driving. Given the serious safety problems involving small buses and 15-passenger vans used in interstate commerce, leaving non-school bus passenger-carrying CMVs without federal protection from texting while driving is inappropriate."

Comments submitted by the National Safety Council urged FMCSA to expand the proposed rulemaking to cover onboard fleet management systems and talking on handheld and hands-free cell phones.

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