While it is important for truck drivers to be in communication with other drivers and their employers while on the road, the use of mobile phone has been shown to add a level of risk that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would like to avoid. As such, restrictions have been released for drivers in Illinois and elsewhere, and failing to adhere to these restrictions can lead to fines for offending drivers.
Drivers are not allowed to make calls on their phones that require them to take one hand off of the wheel and hold the device. On top of that, however, they are also not allowed to dial any numbers into the device while driving. Finally, if they reach to grab a phone and it means that they are not in a standard, seated position any longer, they are also in violation of the rules.
If they do any of these things, drivers could be fined as much as $2,750. Employers who tell drivers to make calls or let them do so could also face fines of $11,000. If semi-truck drivers are caught doing this multiple times, they may even end up facing disqualification.
Drivers who do need to make calls still have options that will allow them to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. For example, they can use voice-activated dialing or earpieces.
It is important for other drivers to know about these regulations because drivers who break the rules could end up causing accidents that lead to injury and death. When this happens and a semi driver is found to be at fault, those who have been hurt must know what legal options they have.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Mobile Phone Restrictions Fact Sheet” Sep. 29, 2014