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Accident investigation leads to proposed cellphone ban for truckers
Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Sep 20, 2011
Thousands of tractor trailers pass through Nashville every month, creating the potential for a serious accident. Trucks can weigh up to 40 tons and travel at high speeds while on the freeway, which can be a deadly combination in a collision. It is also no surprise that distracted driving causes a lot of car accidents, but after a particularly tragic accident in Kentucky last year, the National Transportation Safety Board has asked the government to ban cellphone use by truckers.
The proposed safety measure is meant to reduce the number of truck accidents within Tennessee and across the U.S. The Safety Board made its recommendation after it determined that the Kentucky crash may have been caused by a trucker talking on his cellphone. Although it is possible that driver fatigue contributed to the accident, the driver's phone indicated he had made four calls within one minute of his crash and was on the phone during the accident itself. He had also made a total of 69 calls or text messages in the day before the accident.
Reuters reports that the Transportation Secretary has been a strong advocate against distracted driving. While under his direction, the Department of Transportation banned texting behind the wheel for truckers. It is unclear, however, if Secretary Ray LaHood or the Department will take any immediate action.
Other sources have reported that violations of the proposed regulation will be expensive. A driver that is caught using his or her cellphone will be required to pay $2,750 and will lose his or her license. The company that employed the driver can also expect up to an $11,000 fine.
Just like any motorist, truck drivers should stay off the phone while they are driving. Truckers have to pay close attention to the road or they could cause tragic accidents with horrific results.