2013 Marks the Beginning of a National Hand-Held Phone Ban Regarding Interstate Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers
As of January 3, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a ban on the use of hand-held phones by interstate commercial truck and bus drivers. With penalties increased on individual truck drivers to up to $2,750 for each and every offense and the disqualification of the ability to operate a truck or bus if convicted of multiple offenses of the ban and penalties of up to $11,000 for trucking companies, we should hopefully see a decrease in the number of truck accident injuries going forward. However, in Oregon, a cell-phone ban on all types of drivers was put into place in 2009, so for Oregon the new federal ban is somewhat redundant and not particularly new to the state.
Differences in the FMCSA and PHMSA Ban and Oregon’s Cell Phone Ban (House Bill 3186)
Additionally, the truck injury attorneys at Shulman DuBois LLC note that Oregon’s House Bill 3186, is somewhat different from the 2013 FMCSA and PHMSA ban in that the Oregon ban includes a few exceptions to the ban on cell phone usage that were introduced in 2011. The 2011 revisions were adopted to address some of the instances were a complete ban of cell phone usage was proving to be problematic.
Here are a few exceptional people and circumstances where cell phone use is allowed:
- Tow truck operators, vehicle assistance operators utility owned or contracted vehicles used for installations repairs, maintenance, operations or upgrades of gas, water, electricity, telecommunitions and other utility service providers
- Summoning of emergency or medical assistance if there is no one else in the vehicle capable of doing so when assistance is necessary
- Use of a mobile communication device for agricultural or farming operations.
- Emergency vehicle operators or ambulance operators
- Use of a hands-free cell phone accessory by a driver over the age of 18
- Emergency service workers or public safety workers
- Police Officers and firefighters
- Licensed amateur radio operators
- Someone deactivating or activating a mobile communication device
- Citizens or family radio service band transmissions
- Employment situations that require one-way communications with transit passengers
Get Fully Compensated for Your Truck Accident Injuries
As Oregon truck injury attorneys, Shulman DuBois LLC has seen the financial and physical devastation that a truck accident can have on victims. Just in 2011 (the most recent Oregon statistics available), the Oregon Department of Transportation reported that 1,020 truck crashes occurred that involved fatalities, injuries, and disabling damage to a vehicle. Of those 1,020 crashes, 471 were determined to be the fault of the truck—440 the fault of the truck driver. That’s a lot of trucking accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, remember that you do have rights. You have the right to be compensated for your injuries (medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing therapies, etc.) and in certain instances for pain and suffering as well as psychological damages. Injuries from accidents with trucks are often serious and require years, if not a lifetime, of medical care.
If you think you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against a truck driver, trucking company, truck insurance company, or truck parts manufacturer, Shulman DuBois LLC invites to schedule a free consultation. Truck injury attorneys you can count on to see that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, Shulman DuBois LLC are Oregon personal injury attorneys you can count on. Contact us today at 503-486-3557.