WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement today regarding the latest in a series of actions the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has taken to curb texting by drivers of commercial vehicles, such as large trucks and buses. This newly announced regulatory guidance prohibits commercial truck and bus drivers from texting while driving and from using any handheld cell phone or other device that takes a driver’s attention off the road. Chairman Rockefeller held a Commerce Committee hearing on combating distracted driving in October, 2009 and introduced the Distracted Driving Prevention Act of 2009, which offers a comprehensive, legislative solution to address the nationwide problem of distracted driving in both passenger and commercial vehicles.
“I applaud Secretary LaHood’s swift action to make our highways safer by banning texting for commercial motor vehicle drivers,” said Chairman Rockefeller. “Texting while driving is extremely dangerous, and we must do all we can to bring it to a stop. This past fall, several of my Commerce Committee colleagues and I introduced the Distracted Driving Prevention Act of 2009, which would require the Secretary of Transportation to address distracted driving for commercial vehicles and give states incentives to address distracted driving for all motorists. Last week I also signed on to a resolution that would prohibit all Senate employees from engaging in this same risky behavior. Together, we can work to make these important safety improvements and save lives.”