New regulation would bar truckers from cell phones - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New regulation would bar truckers from cell phones

South Georgia roads may become a little safer if a recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board is put into effect.

The board is pushing new regulations that would prohibit Commercial truck drivers from using cell phones behind the wheel, even a hands-free phone.

This new proposal has put the spotlight on trucking safety and while some truckers like the idea, other are getting a little hot under the collar.

The trucking industry has been at the center of attention after the National Transportation Safety Board proposed a total ban on cell phone use by commercial truckers while driving on the job.

"Here at Conway, our number one core value is safety and we want to keep that intact," said Ronnie Tullis of Con-way: Freight.

Tullis says he thinks the ban isn't such a bad idea. He says if you're driving an 80,000 pound truck, you should limit your distractions. "You want that driver to be more focused on what's going on inside that truck than on a cell phone or texting," said Tullis.

The recommendation came after concluding that a 45-year-old truck driver was likely distracted by his cell phone when he killed himself and 10 others last year in a fatal crash in Munfordville, Kentucky.

While some truckers may agree with the proposal, not everyone does. Some insist they can drive safely while they eat or talk on the phone. "You have a lot of drivers who are going to say that and there's probably a lot of drivers who can, but it's that one driver who can take a life and you want to save that one life if you can," said Tullis.

Tullis is hopeful the board will make the right decision when it comes to the safety of the millions of drivers on US roads.

Tullis went on to say fatigue comes with the territory of trucking and some of his drives use Bluetooth headsets to call friends and to keep themselves alert so that's another reason why this proposal will have mixed reviews.

NTSB Investigators determined the driver of that fatal Kentucky wreck used his mobile phone for calls and text messages 69 times, that's why NTSB believe eliminating that distraction will be beneficial.

 

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