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US DOT bans the use of hand-held mobile phones beginning 1/3/12

Drivers of commercial vehicles in Massachusetts should take note of an important new regulation.  U.S. DOT has banned the use of hand-held phones while driving a commercial motor vehicle in Massachusetts (49 CFR Part 392.82). 

Use of a hand held mobile telephone means: (49 CFR Part 390.5)

1. Using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication;

2. Dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button, or

3. Reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner which requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated position.

Guidance:

  • This rule does not prohibit a driver from using a mounted mobile phone which can be easily accessed from the driver’s seat and activated with a single button.
  • Driving means operating a commercial vehicle while on a public road, and when stopped in traffic on such a road. Driving does not include instances when the driver is safely parked. Emergency use is permitted.
  • The term mobile telephone does not include two way or Citizens Band Radio services, however the term mobile telephone does include mobile services which are provided for profit, have inter-connected service and is available to a substantial portion of the public.

Penalty: Driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for 60 days with the second offense in 3 years. (120 days for each subsequent offense within 3 years) Only applies if violation occurred while driving a CMV.

http://www.massagent.com/publications/issue.cfm?id=151#U.S.