WASHINGTON (AP) - The Transportation Department is announcing an immediate ban on text messaging by truck and bus drivers on the road.
The ban applies to drivers of interstate buses and trucks over 10,000 pounds.
Today's move is part of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's campaign against texting and cell phone use while driving.
Research shows that drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, the DOT says that means a driver is cruising down the entire length of a football field without looking where he or she is going.
Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.