(KMOV.com) -- Along with a laundry list of new laws in all 50 states comes a federal law aimed at safety on the nation's interstates. The law goes into effect Tuesday and will make it illegal for commercial truck drivers to use a hand-held cell phones while driving.
Transportation officials believe the new federal law will help make interstates safer for commuters. Some critics of the law say the penalties are way too stiff. If a commercial truck driver is caught talking on a hand-held cell phone, they could face over $2,700 in fines for each offense. In addition, the driver's employer could face up to $11,000 in fines.
Advocates of the law say it is a good step forward, but doesn't go far enough. They argue that commercial truck drivers as well as passenger car drivers can suffer the same distractions when using a cell phone. Those advocates believe the law should be expanded to private vehicles too.
The law doesn't ban the use of a hands free devices such as a blutooth headset or those which allow the driver to answer a call with the push of a single button, but does not require the driver to hold the device. The law futher expands to bus drivers.