US DOT bans the use of hand-held mobile phones beginning 1/3/12
No driver shall use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle. (49 CFR Part 392.82) A commercial motor vehicle is defined by the US DOT as a vehicle with a single or combined GVWR, or actual weight of over 10,000# utilized in interstate commerce. (Note: Most states have adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for intrastate commerce with vehicles at weights ranging from 10,001 to 26,001#)
Use of a hand held mobile telephone means: (49 CFR Part 390.5)
- Using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication,
- Dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button, or
- 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.
- This rule does not prohibit a driver from using a mounted mobile phone which can be easily accessed from the driver's seat and activiated with a single button.
- Driving means operating a commercial vehicle whle on a public road, and when stoped 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 not 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.