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The U.S. Department of Transportation's regulatory campaign against distracted driving is a multi-modal effort that includes automobiles, trains, planes, and commercial vehicles:

Federal Employees

On September 30, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging:

  • While driving government-owned vehicles;
  • When using electronic equipment supplied by the government while driving; or
  • While driving privately owned vehicles when they're on official government business.

The order also encourages federal contractors and others doing business with the government to adopt and enforce their own policies banning texting while driving on the job.

Commercial Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banned commercial truck and bus drivers from texting while driving in September 2010, and later banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers in November 2011.

Drivers of Hazardous Materials

In February 2011, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) banned texting on electronic devices by drivers operating a motor vehicle containing hazardous materials, in conjunction with the proposed FMCSA ban.

Rail Employees

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) banned rail employees from using cell phones or other electronic devices on the job following a September 2008 Metrolink crash in Chatsworth, California that killed 25 people.


After a Northwest flight crew distracted by a laptop overshot their destination by 150 miles, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advised air carriers to create and enforce policies that limit distractions in the cockpit and keep pilots focused on transporting passengers safely.