The government Tuesday formally barred truckers and bus drivers from sending text messages while behind the wheel, putting the federal imprimatur on a prohibition embraced by many large trucking and transportation companies.
"We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This is an important safety step, and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving."
Although both houses of Congress are considering bills restricting texting and 19 states have banned the practice, LaHood said existing rules on truckers and bus drivers give him authority to issue the prohibition. LaHood said drivers of commercial vehicle caught texting could be fined up to $2,750.