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DOT Medical Changes
As CDL most CDL drivers have noticed, there has been a lot of change in how you obtain your DOT Medical Certification and what you have to do with it, the changes aren’t done.  On May 21st of this year, the number of Doctors who can give you the DOT Medical exam will be greatly reduced for Interstate drivers. Read More...
September Rewards Drawing
The Membership Rewards Program was modified earlier this year to include a prize drawing for the members who participate by signing up new members into the union.  There will be three drawings each year and anyone who signs up a new member will get one entry into the drawing for each new member signed up. Read More...
GST Ken Hall Talks the Truth About Hostess

 

Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall went on TV to blast Hostess Brands Inc. executives over reports they looted the company and then demanded concessions from workers before declaring bankruptcy. View Hall's interview with Bill Press on the "Full Court Press" show on Current TV.

 

Call Me Later

    There is no doubt that this is a time of change for CDL drivers.  It is more important now than ever for drivers to know what is changing in thier workplace whether it's the construction site or the open road.  Cell phone usage is one that will affect almost every driver I know and with a $2,750 fine for violations, drivers will find themselves saying "Call me later." 

   Please take time to read the press release from the Department of transportation.

 

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Final Rule That Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers of Buses and Large Trucks

Today’s Action is the Latest by the Department to End Distracted Driving

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a final rule specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the latest action by the U.S. Department of Transportation to end distracted driving.


"When drivers of large trucks, buses and hazardous materials take their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, the outcome can be deadly," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "I hope that this rule will save lives by helping commercial drivers stay laser-focused on safety at all times while behind the wheel."


The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.

"This final rule represents a giant leap for safety," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "It's just too dangerous for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle. Drivers must keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and head in the game when operating on our roads. Lives are at stake."
 

While driver distraction studies have produced mixed results, FMCSA research shows that using a hand-held cell phone while driving requires a commercial driver to take several risky steps beyond what is required for using a hands-free mobile phone, including searching and reaching for the phone. Commercial drivers reaching for an object, such as a cell phone, are three times more likely to be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event. Dialing a hand-held cell phone makes it six times more likely that commercial drivers will be involved in a crash or other safety-critical event.
 

In September 2010, FMCSA issued a regulation banning text messaging while operating a commercial truck or bus and PHMSA followed with a companion regulation in February 2011, banning texting by intrastate hazardous materials drivers.
 

"Needless injuries and deaths happen when people are distracted behind the wheel," said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman. "Our final rule would improve safety and reduce risks of hazmat in transportation."


Nearly 5474 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2009. Distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of overall traffic fatalities in 2009, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research.


Many of the largest truck and bus companies, such as UPS, Covenant Transport, Wal-Mart, Peter Pan and Greyhound already have company policies in place banning their drivers from using hand-held phones.


The final hand-held cell phone ban rule can be accessed here.

To learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation's efforts to stop distracted driving, please visit http://www.distraction.gov

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Ban on Hand Held Cellular Phones

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