Federal agencies Bus/limo/taxi Trucking Transportation

FMCSA to truck and bus drivers: 'Exercise good judgment' when using e-cigarettes

e cigarette

Photo: sestovic/iStockphoto

Washington – Serious incidents involving e-cigarettes and similar battery-powered, portable electronic smoking devices have prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue a safety advisory aimed at commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Although FMCSA regulations do not prohibit use of the smoking devices, the Aug. 3 advisory states that motor carriers and CMV drivers “should be cognizant of the risks associated with these devices and exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion” in handling, storing, charging and smoking the devices near large trucks and buses. Drivers also must follow smoking prohibitions on or near CMVs transporting hazardous materials, the agency states.

The advisory includes information on incidents in which the devices have exploded or caught fire. According to FMCSA, the explosions “regularly involved the ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device, which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials.”

Citing an October 2014 report, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that since 2009, 25 incidents resulting in nine injuries involved the devices. No one died as a result of injuries, but two people suffered serious burns, according to the report.

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