States that Ban Hand-held Devices

 

cell phoneIntrastate Operations . . .

Do you know the U.S. jurisdictions that ban the use of use of hand-held devices while driving? No?

Well, here they are:

California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, *Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

*The Georgia House Bill 673 also known as the “Hands Free Law” went into effect on July 1, 2018.

A “wireless telecommunications device” is defined as a cellular telephone, a portable telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand-alone computer, a global positioning system receiver or substantially similar portable wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication, information or data.

Specifically:

Under the new law in Georgia, any person operating a motor vehicle is prohibited from:

(1) Physically holding or supporting, with any part of his or her body a wireless telecommunications device (except when using an earpiece, headphone device, or device worn on a wrist to conduct voice-based communication) or stand-alone electronic device;

(2) Writing, sending, or reading any text based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device. This prohibition does not apply to a voice-based communication which is automatically converted by a device to be sent as a message in a written form, or to a device used for navigation or global positioning system purposes;

(3) Watching a video or movie on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device other than watching data related to the navigation of such vehicle; or

(4) Recording or broadcasting a video on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device (except for electronic devices used for the sole purpose of continuously recording or broadcasting video within or outside of the motor vehicle).

Note: anyone making or uploading videos for YouTube using a handheld telecommunication device or other digital recorder while driving would be in violation. And, of course, watching a movie on a cell phone while driving is a major no-no.

COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATORS

1.    Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators can only use one button to begin or end a phone call
2.    Cannot reach for a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device that it no longer requires the driver to be a seated position or properly restrained by a safety belt

The only exceptions are emergencies and reporting hazards, and use by utility personnel or first responders in the course of their work.

Thank you for reading this.

Picture of John Taratuta

John Taratuta, Safety & Risk Engineer, 989-474-9599

Distracted & Deadly . . .

Distracted driver crashed into stopped tracffic

Zombie Driver . . .

It was the start of an ordinary day. Traffic on eastbound Hwy. 13 was stopped for a red light at the Washburn Avenue intersection in Burnsville, Minnesota. Little did four people know they would be involved in a serious crash that would send two of them to the hospital for treatment for injuries.

Rear-end collisions are a fairly common occurrence, about 28% of all crashes, according to the NTSB. For 2016, the last year with complete data, “Large Truck Rear-Ending Passenger Vehicle” were the cause of 4.5% of fatal collisions involving a truck (FMCSA).

This collision is unusual in two respects:

  • The crash was caught on video
  • Bad as it was, the crash could have been much, much worse

Posted by Pat Nelson on Friday, September 7, 2018

 

Ninety-seven percent of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck in 2016 were occupants of the passenger vehicles.  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Lessons Learned

  1. Drivers of large vehicles need to be trained. And trained in emergency procedures, to include knowing when to swerve to avoid a collision. This topic is beyond the scope of the CDL manual and needs to be covered at the company level. Drivers need to be completely indoctrinated in executing proper procedures in an emergency situation. Advanced training can include attendance at a truck skid school to practice what was discussed.
  2. Savvy fleet owners invest in collision-avoidance technology. As there are many older trucks on the road, the age of the vehicle is no excuse with new systems as Forward Collision Warning (FCW) from Mobileye, which can be mounted on any vehicle. The deployment in the 1990s of the rear-center stop light resulted in a decrease in read-end collisions, so technology can make a difference.
  3. Automobile drivers need to stay about 100 feet (7 car lengths) behind any stopped truck and use their warning flashers to get the attention of the drivers behind them, paying attention to traffic that might not stop. Then, after several vehicles stop behind their vehicle, close the gap with the truck ahead.

Thank you for reading this.

Picture of John Taratuta

John Taratuta, Safety & Risk Engineer, 989-474-9599