Truckers facing possible ban on cell phone usage - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Truckers facing possible ban on cell phone usage

The Department of Transportation is currently proposing a rule to completely ban cell phone use by truckers. The Department of Transportation is currently proposing a rule to completely ban cell phone use by truckers.

MARION, IL (KFVS) - Commercial drivers across southern Illinois and around the nation are facing being shutoff from the cell phones when they're behind the wheel.

The Department of Transportation is currently proposing a rule to completely ban cell phone use by truckers.

Now the measure is also getting support from the National Transportation Safety Board.

"Personally it's no different to me then using a CB-radio they'll probably try to take those away from us next," said Richard Roberts of Salem, Arkansas.

"The ban on text messaging I agree with that, but talking on the phone while going down the road there shouldn't be nothing wrong with that."

This past year the Department of Transportation did ban truckers from texting while driving. And this recent proposal is geared towards reducing distracted driver deaths nationwide.

There are more than 5,000 deaths  yearly due to distracted drivers.

But, some truckers say shutting them off from their cell phones will make doing their jobs a whole lot tougher.

"They're very important to us because sometimes you can't just drive a truck and trailer anywhere you want too," said Tom Odom of Amarillo, Texas.

"And if you're going down the road looking for directions, or you need information, it's just not safe to pull over on the side of the road to make a phone call."

"My cell phone is a necessity I use it all the time," said Patrick Waldschmidt of Williamsburg, Kentucky.

"Using the GPS is all fine and dandy, but I work for a furniture company and if I can't find out where the store is at, I can't deliver the load."

If the proposal does become a law it could affect more than 4-million commercial drivers nationwide.

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