January 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- With the proliferation of technology and wireless devices, distracted driving accidents are a nationwide epidemic. Fortunately, state legislatures are working to address the problem. Many states have created bans against driving practices that involve a handheld cellphone.
However, because trucking accidents
are extra egregious, some states have worked to ban distracted driving practices for large commercial vehicles.
For example, Missouri law bans interstate commercial vehicle drivers and intrastate hazmat motorists from using hand-held cellphones while driving. The cellphone ban went into effect in January 2012.
The Missouri Highway Patrol reported 677 fewer crashes in 2011 than in 2010. They want that number to continue to decline with this new restriction. A spokesperson from the Missouri Highway Patrol adds, "It is dangerous and we want to urge all motorists to make their call before they start driving."
The law prohibits truck drivers from holding, dialing or reaching for a cellphone. This includes all push-to-talk functions. However, hands-free use of a cellphone is allowed. Furthermore, a motorist can initiate or terminate a call by touching a single button on a mobile telephone or headset.
Drivers are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense. Truck drivers who are convicted twice of a hand-held violation within a three-year period will be disqualified for 60 days. If convicted for a third violation within three years, the motorist will be disqualified for 120 days.
Furthermore, employers cannot allow or require truck drivers to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving. Under the law, motor carriers are responsible for the actions of drivers.
Motor carriers that allow their truck drivers
to use hand-held cellphones while operating a commercial motor vehicle face a maximum civil penalty of $11,000 per violation.
Truck driving schools have begun to enforce the new regulation. A ban is in place at the KCK Truck Driving School. According to a driving instructor, "Anything that you do that takes you away from your focus on the road is a distraction."
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can help you assess your case.
Article provided by Dollar, Burns & Becker, L.C.
Visit us at www.dollar-law.com---
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