Thursday, January 6, 2011

Warrantless phone searches troublesome

In a world where some people make their living pouring grease onto Teflon slopes, how long will it be until we see law enforcement playing “gotcha” with truckers by searching their cell phones without a warrant?

The question bears asking.

In 2010, the feds banned texting while driving for commercial operators, but everyone knows that enforcing such a ban is nearly impossible without warrants, arrests, strong suspicions of illegal activity, or – help us all – a crash.

Right now, at least, it looks as if the average law-abiding trucker has rights and protections from unlawful search and seizure – and things need to stay that way.

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that it is OK for law enforcement to search a suspect’s phone, including text messages, without a warrant, but only following an arrest of the suspect.

Note, they said “arrest” and “suspect.”

Reasonable suspicion aside, if a driver is not doing anything wrong, he or she should not be subject to a search. Period.

With that said, we all know that there are people out there, including some law enforcement, with something to prove. If they want that phone, they have tactics to try and get it.

A Land Line Magazine feature in the May 2006 issue shed light on some of these persuasive tactics. It was called, “You don’t mind if I look inside your truck, do you?

Officers may already be asking, “You don’t mind if I look inside your phone, do you?”

How you handle it is up to you, but remember you have rights. In the meantime, don’t give them any more ammo than they currently possess.

And if you are out there texting and driving for any reason, cut it out. There’s no sense poking the bear.


  1. what about blogging while driving?

  2. Speaking of warrentless searches; the state of Florida has installed X-ray machines at all their weigh stations. A citizen can now be x-rayed without even being informed. If I do not want to be physically assaulted with numerous x-rays at weigh stations, I have NO choice. A driver could easily be X-rayed 3 or 4 times taking a load in, and another 3 or 4 times taking a load out of Florida.

  3. There are days that I miss being a driver, but to cure that longing all I have to do is wait for the Land Line email to show up and tell of one more way the LEO's or DOT have found to mess with a driver. Maybe when I retire I will buy a RV and be one of those darn snow birds that hold up traffic instead!

  4. The troubling thing about all of this is the fact that they are using rewards cards against log books so why not your phone too. It’s come down to the fact that if you are in a big truck and you are a driver we have become public enemy number one. And in the eyes of the dot we have no rights, and they keep pushing in order to make that realty. When will all this nonsense end? They are really making it to where a driver has no interest in there job any more. Thank you dot for our health forget our welfare


  5. Fedex is all over this like a stink bug in June, telling drivers its their right to look at their cell phone records without a warrent to see if they are texting or not. According to their rules that change to fit their needs(not the drivers)it is against company policy to talk on a cell phone while driving their truck. There is even talk of banning all electronic devices from the company owned trucks. I wonder how many wrecks they will have when the drivers don't have anything to help them stay awake.

  6. I wonder when the Nazi tactics will roll over into the general population. It's amazing how they can take one group of people, based on career or occupation, and totally trash their constitutional rights. We have Gestapo in Arizona giving roadside blood tests, storm troopers of low intellect in Minnesota pretending their medical personnel, Kings highwaymen in Iowa checking pilot reward cards, and now they want access (warrantless) to our cell phones. It's amazing that a Middle Easterner that looks like he just came out of a high-level Al Qaeda meeting can board an airplane without so much as a second look, but have a group of blue-collar workers drive down a highway that they have paid for and they are treated like terrorists. I've been driving truck for better than 35 years and my opinion of the truck regulatory bureaucrats that prey on us is getting lower and lower, just about to the point if I drove by a scale and seen it was on fire and the people inside begging for help there's a good possibility I wouldn't even waste my minutes dialing 911.

  7. Wecome to George Orwell's dream , it's our reality..........

  8. they kept us divided by race,now they keep us divided by language,always enforcing unfairly roadside gangster enforcement,forever changing fmcsa fit their bills and the over tolling of highways as they see fit to do.when it is only the american trucker who is the backbone of this economy.if you want it to change and change right now just stay home,or park where you are for one week 1/24/2011..oh i forgot they made a law for that[obstruction of interstate commerce]


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