A cell phone policy seems straight forward. Don’t Use Cell Phone on the Road. It’s the law in many states in personal autos, and it’s a written rule by the FMCSA. So why should you include a cell phone policy in your manual:
- Drivers can face penalties up to $2,750 and disqualification for multiple offenses. Motor carriers are also subject to civil penalties up to $11,000.
- All cell phone violations will also impact SMS results (10 Points)
- MVR cell phone convictions are a disqualifying offense with any insurance companies
- Cell phone records are listed as discoverable and can be used in court
When developing employee handbooks, we often think of the exposures of the drivers on the road; but what about the dispatchers? Look at (b) on the both of the rules from FMCSA:
(a) Prohibition. No driver shall engage in texting while driving.
(b) Motor Carriers. No motor carriers shall allow or require its drivers to engage in texting while driving.§Part 392.82 Using a hand-held mobile telephone
(a) No driver shall use a hand-held mobile telephone
(b) No motor carrier shall allow or require its drivers to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV
One of the issues is that some dispatchers text drivers in reference to updating them on loads. Our policy reflects not only the drivers’ responsibility, but the dispatchers’ as well. How do you share load information, and locations, and exposures ahead? How do you communicate with your fleet?