The federal ban on texting while driving commercial vehicles adds penalties and sanctions including, for repeat offenders, disqualification from operating vehicles in interstate commerce.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published its final rule in late September, which imposes fines of up to $2,750 for drivers and $11,000 for carriers.
Driver violators already can be disqualified for 60 days if convicted of two separate texting violations in three years and 120 days if convicted of three or more violations within three years.
Texting includes a short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging, a request to access the Internet or any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry.
However, it does not include certain less-distracting activities, such as use of a phone or navigation system.
— Jill Dunn
CARB amends reefer unit rule
The California Air Resources Board has amended its Transport Refrigeration Unit Airborne Toxic Control Measure to allow 2003 engines to meet a less stringent standard.
CARB adopted the change at its Nov. 18 board meeting. It asked owners of TRUs and TRU generator sets with 2003 engines to order compliance technology now to meet in-use standards by Dec. 31. Also, TRUs and TRU gen sets with flexibility engines need to register their TRUs in CARB’s equipment registration system.
Affected owners now will have the option of using the less stringent Low-Emission TRU in-use standard by the Dec. 31 deadline, instead of only using the ultra-low-emission TRU.
— Jill Dunn
Driver honored after encounter with burning car
Bill Whitehead, a driver with FirstFleet, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association.
On Oct. 7, Whitehead was driving on Highway 402 in Georgia when he saw a car hit a deer and stop in the median. Two women and two girls were inside.