Ask a Trooper: What Are Texting Rules for Commercial Drivers? | Transportation
by Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, Minnesota State Patrol
Question: Is there any information about texting by drivers of commercial motor vehicles? I was wondering if it’s even more dangerous (or costly) for them than for drivers of regular vehicles. Thanks!
Answer: According to information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, research shows that it is six times more likely for a commercial vehicle driver to be involved in a safety-critical event when dialing a mobile phone (including texting) than those who do not.
These drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of 3.8 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, 80.7 feet per second, they traveled 306 feet – which is just over a football field – without looking at the forward roadway. (FMCSA – 2009 – Document number FMCSA-RRR-09-042).
Penalties for conviction for this offense will be CDL disqualification: 60 days for a second offense within three years and 120 days for three or more offenses within three years. In addition, the first and each subsequent violation are subject to civil penalties in amounts up to $2750.00.
Remember, it is illegal for all drivers to read, write or send text messages or emails, and access the Web – including when stopped in traffic.
For more information, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website: www.fmcsa.dot.gov . Thanks for asking.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers MN State Patrol P.O. Box 644 Brainerd, MN 56401 or email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask A Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.