Smart phones have allowed us to be accessible just about any time. One activity that has been negatively affected by this is driving a vehicle and being distracted by texts, e-mails as well as phone calls. Taking your eyes off the road for even one (1) second could result in serious injury and sometimes death, for yourself and/or others.
When driving behind a car that is swerving from lane to lane, what is your first thought? Mine is “great, I’m behind a drunk driver” and your start to think about your safety as well as the individual swerving and others in the area. Do you notify the police? Do you stay back or try to pass them? Often times, I am grateful that I haven’t called the police because as I pass the swerving driver, I see that they are not drunk ~ they are distracted! Texting maybe, checking email, etc. Either way they are looking at the phone, and not the road and what’s ahead!
As an employer, do you have employees who are on-the-road and spend a lot of time communicating while travelling from one location to another? Do you provide a company vehicle that has hands-free driving abilities or a blue tooth for the cell phone?
Beginning July 1st motorist in New Hampshire will have to abide to the new Hands Free Law signed by Governor Maggie Hassan last July.
This law will ban the use of hand held electronic devices that are capable of providing voice or data communication while driving or while drivers are stopped temporarily, such as at a set of lights, stop signed or other momentary delays.
So what does this mean for employers?
- Look at your existing policies regarding business travel as well as operating company vehicles to ensure that you have clearly defined how your company will support this new law.
- Employee accountability for failing to follow the law. Employees should be given a clear understanding of what is expected and what is not.
- Who is responsible for any violations that occur? (this one is a scary one, depending on the incident)
- Is the company vehicle “electronically integrated” with Bluetooth? If not how will your employees be able to answer your call when you need them? Employees should have the necessary equipment to keep them safe on the road when you to reach them by phone.
- Keep your employees safe! Provide any necessary training that they may need on the appropriate use of cell phones, navigation devices and other electronic devices.
If you are having any problems understanding how this law will affect your existing policies or need help with the development of new policies, feel free to contact HR Synergy. We will be more than happy to assist you with any of your HR solutions.