On November 23rd, 2011, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a final rule specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rule is a cooperation between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to end distracted driving.
The final rule can be accessed at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/rule_making_details.aspx?ruleid=324.
According to this FAQ, the effective date for the new rule is January 3, 2011: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/other/faq/cellphone-ban-faqs.aspx
According to the rule, the "use of a hands-free mobile telephone with a speaker phone function or a wired or wireless earphone" is allowed. For answers regarding the use of the push-to-talk function as well as CB and other radio devices, please see the above linked rule.
For general information on distracted driving including applicable state laws, please visit https://ntl.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/507/kw/distracted%20driving.
If you are involved in an incident and have questions, call the Leon Law Firm at 281-980-4529.