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Commercial truck drivers face new distracted driving laws

October 25, 2013 Truck Accidents

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

New York police take distracted driving very seriously. With the tremendous number of people on the roads in certain parts of the state, losing focus on traffic for even a moment can result in an accident. Although the state’s texting-and-driving laws are already very strict, drivers with a commercial license will be facing additional penalties for using a mobile device behind the wheel beginning on Oct. 28, 2013.

Under the new law, truck drivers and others with a commercial license will not be able to send a text or use their cell phone while stopped. Under New York law, however, other drivers will still be able to use their phones when their vehicle has come to a complete stop. This change will bring intrastate commercial carriers in line with national standards.

This move is the latest in a string of changes to texting-and-driving laws, which have gradually become more stringent. Truck drivers who use their cell phones while stopped at a traffic signal will automatically have their commercial license suspended if they are cited by a police officer.

Of course, a new law will not prevent everyone from becoming distracted by their mobile device while behind the wheel. Even though a commercial truck driver — who has logged thousands of miles of miles on the road — might feel comfortable sending a quick text message, he or she could cause an accident.

The consequences of truck accidents are typically more serious than accidents with smaller vehicles simply because of a tractor-trailer’s size. Drivers have a responsibility to act with caution and intentionally becoming distracted demonstrates a disregard for the safety of others.

Source: Democrat & Chronicle, “Tougher texting laws start Monday for truck drivers,” Joseph Spector, Oct. 25, 2013