When many of us hear of a fatal car accident that involved teenagers, our hearts automatically go out to their families and loved ones. It is always sad to hear when young people’s lives were cut short over an accident that could have been prevented. However, one person who heard of a tragic car accident in California decided to take action. After hearing about yet another horrible car accident caused by distracted driving, a private investor decided to financially back a California start-up company.
Once they received this backing, the company began its mission of eliminating distracted driving within the trucking industry in the hopes of reducing truck accidents. To achieve this goal, the company is in the process of introducing a device that shuts down a cell phone’s ability to operate while a truck is in motion. The two-year-old company, called NOCELL, first introduced the device to a Truckload Carriers Association annual meeting. The device boasts a variety of valuable features.
What is NOCELL?
The device that NOCELL has created is called the NOCELL tag. This is a round cylinder device that is placed on the truck driver’s windshield. When the tag is connected to the NOCELL app, it creates what is known as the “NOCELL Zone” that prevents truck drivers from accessing other apps on their phones.
Once the NOCELL tag is connected to the truck, it automatically goes into effect when the truck is in motion. Once the truck is moving, the NOCELL tag shuts down all apps that are not necessary for the truck driver to use. Any apps that are not on what the device refers to as a “whitelist” will shut down while the truck is operating.
A “whitelist” is a category of necessary apps that truck drivers are allowed to access while using NOCELL tag. For example, a truck driver who has a particular medical condition and requires a specific app to check their vitals can add that particular app to the “whitelist.” These apps, in addition to the NOCELL app required to use the device, will be the only apps still available for use when the truck is in motion.
One of the concerns that fleets have regarding the NOCELL device is whether a truck driver can sneak another device, like a second phone to use on a truck. Luckily, the company has considered this type of scenario. NOCELL has the ability to disable all devices within the same vicinity as the NOCELL Zone. That means that the truck driver will not be allowed to use the apps on any of their additional devices either.
The NOCELL tag also has the ability to share the location of where the driver’s phone is located when the phone is disconnected. If the truck is in motion while the NOCELL tag device is disconnected, the device will “drop the pin” to the trucking company. The device will also continue to disable the remaining apps on the truck driver’s phone until the truck comes to a stop.
Will trucking companies implement the NOCELL program?
One of the challenges that NOCELL is facing is demonstrating how its use will benefit the trucking industry. Even though many traditional motorists would love to use this device, trying to prove its value to truck drivers is a different matter. One of the solutions that NOCELL is considering is offering reduced insurance premiums to trucking companies with a recorded use of the device.
Trucking companies also have the discretion to enforce the use of NOCELL for their drivers. Trucking companies can mandate the use of the NOCELL tag device just like the mandated use of other technologies like external cameras. However, a mandate may not be necessary, as some drivers have expressed feeling less stressed after using the device.
How NOCELL can reduce distracted driving in the trucking industry
Having a device that can shut down other apps on a truck driver’s phone can eliminate many distractions for drivers. Truck drivers can spend up to 11 hours on the road, which is plenty of time to become distracted. While there are many ways for a truck driver to become distracted, a cell phone is the primary distraction.
The NOCELL device can also benefit truck drivers by saving them from fines. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits truck drivers from holding, dialing, or reaching for a hand-held cell phone while operating their vehicle. When a truck driver is caught holding a cellphone while driving, he or she can face multiple fines and penalties. Worst case scenario, truck drivers with multiple cell phone violations are at risk of being disqualified by the FMCSA.
The use of the NOCELL tag device can help truck drivers resist the temptation of using their cell phones when they are bored on the road. The device can also serve as evidence that the truck driver did not use their cell phone while the truck was in motion. Because the device is able to record the use of its application, truck drivers can refer back to the records if they are ever accused of causing a truck accident.
After being involved in a truck accident, you want attorneys who consistently work in your best interest and allow you to heal from your injuries. At Shepherd & Long, P.C., we have the experience you need to protect your rights. Call us today at 865-982-8060, or submit our contact form to schedule your free consultation. We have an office in Maryville, but serve clients in Blount County and throughout East Tennessee.