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AMTA wants wrinkles ironed out of distracted driving reg

CALGARY – The Alberta Motor Transport Association is calling on regulators to better clarify how the province's recently announced distracted driving laws will impact the trucking industry.

"We worked with the province in developing the distracted driving legislation," says AMTA Executive Director Mayne Root. “We understand that commercial drivers may continue to use two-way radio communication devices (e.g., Citizen’s Band radios) for work-related but not recreational purposes.”??

The lack of clarification on how the government defines "work-related" and "recreational" in respect to truck drivers using CBs has led to much confusion in the industry.

As we recently reported, officials from Alberta Transportation admitted to todaystrucking.com that regulators might not have fully thought through the CB provision.

Asked specifically about drivers discussing, via the CB, such things traffic conditions, rest area availability or countless other day-to-day operational issues and whether that sort of chatter constitutes "commercial" or "recreational" use, a spokesperson admitted that the ministry might have to further examine such scenarios.

AMTA is also seeking clarification that commercial drivers who use logistical transportation tracking devices or dispatch systems for the transport of passengers can still have mobile data computers installed and activated in their vehicles, says Root, adding that the group is only "aware that drivers will be prohibited from typing information into these devices while driving."

The sweeping legislation, which takes effect this year, bans not only hand-held cell phones and other electronic devices, but also reading, writing and personal grooming while driving.

Drivers may still use hands-free cell phones and other hands-free radio communication devices. 

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