Drivers of trucks and buses who text behind the wheel will be subject to thousands of dollars in fines, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today. The federal prohibition, which takes effect immediately, applies only to commercial vehicles. But distracted driving is one of LaHood's top issues, CNN reports. "This is an important safety step, and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving," he said.
Nineteen states already ban texting by all drivers, and six prohibit the use of handheld devices behind the wheel. The new regulations have the support of many in the trucking and bus industries. "A lot of our members already have policies in place," the head of a bus-industry trade group told the AP. "It's just safe and smart."