Driver Distractions: Personal Communications Devices

The following is a sample distracted driving policy developed by GAWDA’s Safety Committee for use by member companies.


Driver Distractions: Personal Communications Devices

Driving a company vehicle while distracted can significantly increase the risk of causing a collision. One of the most common distractions while driving is the use of cellular phones or other communications devices. Our company desires to protect our employees and others on the highways by adopting the following policy on the use of communications devices.

Definitions

Company Vehicle
A “company vehicle” is a company-owned vehicle operated on or off the job, a company-rented or leased vehicle operated on or off the job, or an employee-owned or leased vehicle operated for company business.

Communications Devices
“Communications devices” includes: cellular phones, pagers, Personal Digital Assistants, Citizens’ Band radios or hand-held radios.

Safe Location
A “safe location” is a legal parking or stopping place on public or private property.  It is not the side of the road or highway.  Highway shoulders are for emergency stopping and are not considered a “safe place”.  Examples of “safe locations” are parking lots, gas stations, etc.

Driving
“Driving” means that the driver is behind the steering wheel, the engine is on, and the vehicle is in gear.

Company Policy

  • Communications devices may not be used while driving in a company vehicle.  This includes talking on or listening to a cellular phone, text messaging, reading or responding to e-mail messages or accessing voice mail.
  • Communications devices may only be used in vehicles when the vehicle is stopped in a safe location, out of the lanes of travel and off the roadway.  Bluetooth or other hands-free communications devices may only be used when a company vehicle is parked in a safe location.
  • Cellular phones or pagers may be kept on while the vehicle is in motion to alert drivers that a call or message has been received, but the driver must be parked in a safe location to return a call or engage in conversation.
  • Employees who are charged with traffic violations resulting from the use of a communications device (whether company provided or personal) while driving on company business will be solely responsible for all liabilities that result from such actions.
  • Communications devices are not to be used while fueling vehicles.
  • Safety must come before all other concerns.  Under no circumstances are employees allowed to place themselves at risk to fulfill business needs.
  • Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association