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Trucking | Federal agencies

FMCSA permits mobile devices for truck inspection screenings

July 24, 2013

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Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is now permitting states to allow mobile electronic devices such as smartphones or GPS navigation units to be used as transponders for electronic screening systems.

According to an announcement in the July 19 Federal Register, devices that can transmit and receive wireless mobile data will now meet core compliance requirements for Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks. Before, commercial motor vehicle operators needed to use specially designed short-range transponders to communicate safety information such as weight and credential status with weigh station and inspection site screening systems.

The change may encourage states to install additional mobile screening sites with no infrastructure-related costs, allowing more trucks to pass through screenings at highway speeds and allow traffic enforcement to better focus their resources on high-risk CMV carriers, FMCSA stated.

The agency stressed that CMV drivers are still banned from texting and making handheld calls while driving.