In an effort to end distracted driving, effective January 3, 2012 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) more than 10,000 GVW while operating their vehicles. This is a rule that prohibits the use of a hand-held phone in any manner while the truck is operating. As you already know, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banned texting while driving for CMV operators in 2010. This next rule goes a step further to restrict other uses of hand-held cell phones, including dialing, while driving.

“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,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “I hope that this rule will save lives by helping commercial drivers stay laser-focused on safety at all times while behind the wheel.”

“This final rule represents a giant leap for safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “It’s just too dangerous for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle. Drivers must keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and head in the game when operating on our roads. Lives are at stake.”

A full version of this article and a corresponding Toolbox Talk to use with your employees can be found in the “Safety Resources” section of