CMV Cell Phone Ban in Michigan
A new FMCSA rule restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV's). This rulemaking restricts a CMV driver for holding a mobile device to make a call, or dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity. Even in a private vehicle, a conviction will affect the CDL license.
Is Cell Phone Usage Legal in Michigan?
Texting while driving in Michigan has been illegal since 2012. However, the law was amended in 2019 to include any usage of a hand held device. Use of a Mobile Device includes: not only texting while driving, but any use of a mobile or hand held device that is not “hands free”. This law was not strictly enforced until 2019. Now, Michigan State Troopers and/or Department of Transportation (DOT) are out looking for it. This is especially true for Commercial Motor Vehicle “CMV” operators, and/or Commercial Driver’s License Holders.
A ticket, citation, or violation issued for a regular motorist can be written as “distracted driving”, “texting while driving” or “usage of a mobile device” and is 4 points if an accident is caused. For a CDL holder, a usage of a mobile phone is very severe and carries 10 safety points. The CSA points (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) are not only places on the driver’s record, but also on their employers. The use of any device, (including GPS) for truckers is most often written as: “CMV Cell Phone Ban” which makes the violation, or infraction, harder to contest. Being convicted of this charge is an automatic suspension of a Commercial Driver’s License.
Research commissioned by FMCSA shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 6 times greater than for those who do not. Dialing drivers took their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of 3.8 seconds. At 55 mph (or 80.7 feet per second), this equates to a driver traveling 306 feet, the approximate length of a football field, without looking at the roadway!
What is the definition of using a mobile telephone?
The use of a hand-held mobile telephone means:
- Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;
- Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button; or
- Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.
What does this rule mean to drivers and carriers:
Fines and Penalties - Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in driver disqualification. Penalties can up be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving.
Disqualification - Multiple violations of the prohibition of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a CMV an result in a driver disqualification by FMCSA. Multiple violations of State laws prohibiting use of mobile phone while driving a CMV can result in driver disqualification by FMCSA. Multiple violations of State laws prohibiting use of a mobile phone while driving a CMV is a serious traffic violation that could result in a disqualification by FMCSA. Multiple violations of State Laws prohibiting use of a mobile home while driving a CMV is a serious traffic violation that could result in a disqualification by a State of drivers required to have a Commercial Driver's License.
What are the risks? - Using a hand-held mobile phone is risky because it requires the driver to reach for and dial the phone to make a call. Reaching for a phone out of a driver's immediate area is risky as well as dialing because these actions take the driver's eyes off the roadway.
The rule applies to drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle on a roadway, including moving forward or temporarily stationary because of traffic, traffic control devices, or other momentary delays.
A mounted phone is acceptable as long as it is mounted close to the driver.
Impact on Safety Measurement System (SMS) Results - Violations negatively impact SMS results, and they carry the maximum severity weight.
What does this mean to your employer?
CDL trucking companies get fined up to $7,000 for this ticket. It not only affects the driver's record and rating but even more so, the trucking company that the driver is employed by.
Our firm has beaten this ticket time after time. If you have received a violation, infraction, or citation, call us right away so we can get you out of it before it hits your record.
Were you ticketed for CMV Cell Phone Ban, Use of Handheld Device, Texting, or Distracted Driving? We can help 844-485-2889