Truck and bus drivers are now prohibited from texting while driving by the Transportation Department. If a commercial driver is caught texting and driving, they may be subject to civil and criminal penalties and have to pay a fine of up to $2,750. The officials of the truck and bus industry support this ban on texting because it supports the safety of their drivers.
Amy Storey, a spokeswoman for the wireless industry, also supports a ban on texting while driving, saying, “While mobile devices are important safety tools, there’s an appropriate time and an inappropriate time to use them.” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood believes that the only way that texting and cell phone while driving will decreased if the wireless industry works with public officials to come up with an effective ban. LaHood explains that even though people know how dangerous texting is, they still continue to do it, which is why it will be difficult to enforce a ban.
So far, nineteen states and the District of Columbia have prohibited all drivers from texting while driving and Barack Obama signed an executive order mandating that federal employees do not text while driving government-owned vehicles.
Texting while driving has been the cause of an increasing number of accidents, which is why preventative measures needed to be taken to makes the roads less dangerous. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration research estimates that at person texting while driving at 55 miles per hour will travel the length of a football field without looking at the road. As a result, the organization called FocusDriven was created by the Transportation Department to campaign against cell phone use and texting while driving.