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Calling and Texting While Driving

A crash because a truck driver was not paying attention. (The Post and Courier)  A South Carolina couple was hurt when a truck driver crashed into the back of their car as they slowed to turn into their driveway. The lawsuit alleged that the truck driver was talking on his cell phone when the crash took place. Unifi Inc., a North Carolina-based manufacturer of polyester and nylon yarns, has now settled the couple’s lawsuit for $3.75 million. But the real issue relates to truck drivers talking on cell phones and not paying attention.

The company did have a policy regarding their drivers on the phone while driving; they just did not enforce the policy. According to the article, At the time of the crash, the trucking company had a policy that its drivers could not use their cellphones for longer than two minutes, and only if they were using a wireless Bluetooth device.

According to the evidence in the case, Unifi Inc. did not enforce the rule and phone logs show that the driver involved in the accident, had been using his cellphone for seven hours during the course of his roughly 8½-hour driving shift. During the lawsuit discovery, other phone logs showed that many of their other truck drivers were talking on the phone in the same extended time.

This company has 60 trucks on the road. They now say that they will no longer allow their drivers to use their cell phones while driving.

The Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCA) approved a regulation in 2012 that banned hand-held phone use by drivers of commercial vehicles. Hands-free phones while driving is still lawful. In South Carolina, the regulation is enforced by the state Transport Police.

I find this article interesting in that it might indicate a movement that stops cell phone use while driving. There are already phone apps available that block texting while driving. Some lawmaker may decide to introduce a blocking app into required driving law. In the meantime, would cell phone companies lobby against this? Are drivers ready for such restriction on a personal level?

And for pic o’ day, speaking of progress:

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