Truck drivers banned from using cell phones while driving - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Truck drivers banned from using cell phones while driving

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(01/04/12) - A new federal law is now in effect that bans commercial truck drivers from using cell phones while driving.

In late November, the U.S. Transportation Department declared a nationwide ban as a way to combat distracted driving.

Some truck drivers say the new law is OK, while others ask, why not impose the ban on all drivers?

The law into effect Tuesday, so what do truck drivers think? It depends on which one you ask.

Steve, a truck driver from Philadelphia making a stop in the Saginaw area, believes the new law, which prohibits the use of cell phones by commercial truck and bus drivers, makes sense.

"We are truck drivers, we have a professional job to do out here, and we can't do it if we are distracted on the highway," he said. "I still constantly ride up and down the street now and see truckers on their phone."

But Mark McQueen from Louisiana has a different take on the new law.

"It's very unfair," he said. "More intrusions into our freedom, our basic freedoms, government trying to act as a caretaker, when it's just not possible."

McQueen feels the law is going to be tough to enforce, and it won't cut down on distracted driving, because drivers in cars, pick-ups and SUV's will still be talking and driving. "The only way you will ever stop cell phone use in the vehicles is to turn all the cell phones off," he said.

He also doesn't agree with the fine truck drivers face if they are caught driving while on their cell phones. "$2,750, a vast majority of the drivers can't afford that."

Truck drivers can use any hands-free device and Tony from Boston feels the law is fair. "I use the wireless thing," he said. "You drive these big things you know, one mistake you will kill someone."

But McQueen, who also uses a wireless device, says these will be next.

"There are people trying to get these outlawed in commercial vehicles," he said.

Also, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver license after two or more serious traffic violations.

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