DoT might ban cell phone use for bus, truck drivers

The Department of Transportation (DoT) proposed a rule on Friday that would ban interstate bus and truck drivers from using handheld cell phones while working.

The proposed rule would specifically ban these drivers from "reaching for, holding or dialing a cell phone" while driving.

Drivers who violate the rule could be charged $2,750 and risk losing their commercial driver's license.

“Every time a commercial truck or bus driver takes his or her eyes off the road to use a cell phone, even for a few seconds, the driver places everyone around them at risk,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “This proposed rule will go a long way toward keeping a driver’s full attention focused on the road.”

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) commended the effort on Friday.

"DoT’s proposed rule gets us closer to our goal of reducing the number of preventable deaths and injuries that occur on our highways each year," he said. 

The effort comes as part of LaHood's campaign to reduce distracted-driving accidents, which has aggressively targeted cell phone use.