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Most companies are concerned about the lives and health of their employees, as well as the travelling public. They have policies and procedures that are intended to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, (FMCSRs) but the most important reason for these policies is not just to satisfy the DOT; it’s to safeguard the health and safety of both employees and the public.
The FMCSA has been talking a lot about truck drivers using cell phones when they are driving, and no one is surprised they recently made it a crime to call your wife or call the office while you are driving, unless you have some sort of hands-free device. Being charged with distracted driving can have serious implications, from having to go to the easiest online traffic school california if you’re lucky, to having your license revoked completely. Not to mention the fact that you could seriously injure yourself or someone else. If you have your license revoke this could result in your insurance being higher, putting you in the high risk bracket for your insurance company. If you would like to learn more you can read more here.
It’s not just the DOT, it’s everyone out there from soccer moms to newspaper reporters; ‘distracted driving is the new drunk driving’. The public perception that everyone should stop talking on their cell phones when driving is based on real information, not just some sort of mass hysteria. Some people ask, “Why stop with truck drivers, why not ban it for everyone?” The answer is, many states are already taking steps to do just that, but the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) is able to make one rule that impacts all truck drivers and everyone who controls a truck, trucking companies and private carriers; anyone who has a truck >10,000 GVWR.
First responders, for example police officers and firefighters, are very often the first people to see the wrecked cars and bodies after a crash, and very often they find one or more of the vehicle operators with cell phones in their hands. It is more than obvious people who are talking on cell phones while driving are creating a hazardous condition. This is why public pressure forced the FMCSA to take decisive action, and it is why DOT Compliance Help, Inc. has decided to make Distracted Driving policies for companies who wish to bring awareness to the issue.
Just because some of us stay in the office does not mean we don’t know how hard it is to drive a truck and stay in touch with family members and take care of day-to-day activities, including returning phone calls. When we are driving, we all find it convenient to talk on the phone. It seems natural. Everyone does it, and no one thinks they are going to be the one that causes a wreck. But we all know a lot of terrible things can start with an innocent phone call. Don’t ruin someone else’s life because of you want to pick up the phone. If you cause an accident, it can not only have a physical impact but also a mental. Many households are financing their cars or vans with companies like Lending Expert. If you were to destroy their car, it can cause them lots of hardship.
DOT Compliance Help, Inc. can customize a distracted driving/cell phone policy for your company to not only comply with the federal regulations, but also to exceed them, which is our recommendation. The trucking industry can truly make an impact with safe driving techniques if we put in the effort. Contact us to talk about getting and implementing a policy today.
Meet Your DOT Consultant
Mike England has spent more than twenty-five years in the transportation industry, first in a management role with a small transportation company, then progressing through numerous safety and general management roles with both large and small DOT-regulated entities including trucking companies and private fleets.
He is a graduate of the US Army Safety Management School in Ft. Rucker, Alabama as well as the US Department of Transportation’s FMCSA Safety Auditor Course. He spent 2005 and 2006 performing audits for the US Department of Transportation and decided in 2007 to form the private consulting firm DOT Compliance Help, Inc.
In addition to developing and presenting DCH’s DOT compliance seminars and conferences, Mike and his firm also provide compliance assessments and conduct custom onsite training sessions for clients across the country. With an office and staff located outside of Chicago, DCH’s mission is to help carriers prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The ultimate goals are safer roadways for the public and increased profits for their clients.
His memberships include the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the North American Transportation Management Institute, and the Illinois Trucking Association.