Edic.: 139
Autor: Juan Peña
Date: 2/2019

Calling and Texting: Serious Driving Offense

The FMCSA rule restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) as it’s described in the official FMSCA website. This rulemaking restricts a CMV driver from holding a mobile device to make a call, or dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity.

Research commissioned by FMCSA shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 6 times greater for CMV drivers who engage in dialing a mobile phone while driving than for those who do not.

The use of a hand-held mobile telephone means:

– Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;

– Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button;

– Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that they are no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.

The rule applies to drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle on a roadway, including moving forward or temporarily stationary because of traffic, traffic control devices, or other momentary delays.


  • Make sure the mobile telephone is within close enough proximity that it is operable while the driver is restrained by properly installed and adjusted seat belts.
  • Use an earpiece or the speaker phone function.
  • Use voice-activated dialling.
  • Use the hands-free features.

As it’s informed in the official FMSCA website: “Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in driver disqualification. Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving.”

With 15 years of experience as a Recruiter at Ardwin Freight, I recommend to the commercial drivers to not risk picking up a phone call while driving. The insurance companies consider this violation very seriously and some of them won’t accept a driver with this violation for certain time. Besides the high risk of driving or texting while driving, consider that a bad driving record can make it harder to find a job, good insurance company with a low price. Think before taking a call or else that phone call could be the most expensive call of your life.