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New Cell Phone Rules For Truckers

The rules for using cell phones on the road are now tougher for truck drivers.
The rules for using cell phones on the road are now tougher for truck drivers. 

If you though using your phone at a red light was legal, think again. State Police say the only time you should be using your phone is if you are off the road, or have a hands-free device. Many drivers think it is okay to use their cell phones at a red light. 

"I'm not that concerned about it especially compared to when they're actually driving," Michael Vasquez said.

"The motor vehicle is still in operation, it's like someone that has been drinking and driving and pulls off to the side of the road to sleep it off, and leaves their car running, their car is still in operation and they can be arrested for drinking and driving," State Police spokesman Mark O'Donnell said.

Changes to the cell phone and texting laws are targeting truck drivers. They are not allowed to make calls or send text messages at red lights, or in "stop-and-go" traffic. They are also required to use a hands-free device to make calls.

"If they're looking at their phones they're not looking at the roads; and now you put that in the hands of someone that's driving an 80,000 pound tractor trailer that can be deadly," O'Donnell said.

Drivers say texting while driving is more of an annoyance than a danger.

"When you're texting you're not paying attention to the stop light so they could have a green light and you should be going and you're not so it's kind of annoying for the people behind them," Michael Yeaple said.

"If they're not paying attention to the light if they're not paying attention to an intersection or something I'd rather have their eyes up and looking through the windshield than down at their phone," Vasquez said.

You can always plug in a headset or use bluetooth to make your phone hands-free and legal- or simply pull over to send a text message or make a call. If you are caught using your phone, you will certainly pay the price- five points on your license and a fine of up to $400. 



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