Truck and bus drivers will be fined up to $2,750 if they are caught sending text messages while on the road under a new ban introduced by the US government.

The ban is just one of a number of new safety steps introduced by the Department of Transport in the hope of preventing accidents caused by distracted drivers. The prohibition comes into effect immediately, revealed the Department of Transportation on January 26.

"We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe," said US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving."