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Texting by truckers banned

Today the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned text messaging by interstate truck drivers during operation of a commercial motor vehicle.

Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute released a study last July that found that when truckers text, they are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near miss.

Both houses of Congress are considering bills to restrict texting. Nineteen states have banned the practice. The new federal regulation provides that drivers of commercial vehicles caught texting may be fined up to $2,750.

Texting and cellphone use have been banned in many major commercial fleets, including FedEx’s 43,000 vehicles and the 100,000 used by United Parcel Service.

This will be more material for my presentation to the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group at Vancouver, British Columbia, in July.

Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people and families of people killed in tractor trailer, big rig, semi, intermodal container freight, log truck, cement truck, dump truck, log truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia.

Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).

Mr. Shigley served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute and is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group. He is currently Treasurer of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia, of which he will become President-Elect on 6/19/10 and President in on 6/4/11. This blog expresses only personal views of Mr. Shigley, and nothing in it should be construed as expressing any opinion on behalf of any organization of which Mr. Shigley is a member or officer.

A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases.

This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.