U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a new safety rule, in an effort to reduce truck and bus accidents. The rule prohibits interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held mobile phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the latest action by the U.S. Department of Transportation to end distracted driving. See Driving while testing v Driving While Intoxicated
"When drivers of large trucks, buses and hazardous materials take their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, the outcome can be deadly....I hope that this rule will save lives by helping commercial drivers stay laser-focused on safety at all times while behind the wheel."
FMCSA research shows that use of a hand held mobile phone while driving requires a CDL driver to take risky steps beyond what is needed for use of a hands-free mobile phone, including searching and reaching for the phone. Commercial drivers reaching for an object, such as a cell phone, are three times more likely to be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event. Dialing a hand-held cell phone makes it six times more likely that commercial drivers will be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event.
I believe this regulation is common sense. Most states already ban texting while driving and many require hands free use of mobile phones for phone call while driving. See Texting and driving bans by state. In 2009 almost 5474 people died, often a wrongful death case, and 500,000 suffered auto or truck accident related personal injury as a result of distracted drivers.
Hand Held Cell Phone Bann Rule for CDL Drivers can be accessed here.