NTBS Proceeds Canada in Banning Nation-Wide Mobile Device Usage While Driving
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTBS) recently released a statement outlawing the use of mobile phones while driving and even the use of hand-free devices. Some are calling the ban unrealistic. The ban was a result of an investigation into an accident in where 2 people died and 38 were injured. 3000 deaths related to mobile phone distractions were recorded in 2010 in the US.
The Telecom Expense Management Industry Association (TEMIA) commented in a recent press release in reaction to the Nation-Wide ban and is urging employers to mandate mobile policies to limit corporate exposure.
Canada has been issuing fines related to handheld cell phone driving impairment since 2002, as Newfoundland was the first province to adopt the law. It was gradual but inevitable that all provinces and territories adopt the rule, the only exception being Nunavut. Fines can range from province to province and can be between $100 to a hypothetical maximum of $10,250, under a reckless driving charge.
TEMIA’s statement is a reminder that it is not only the responsibility of the individual but also employers. Companies should always communicate a policy that recognizes the risks associated with employees using hand held devices on the road. Some of the potential risk factors Identified by TEMIA include:
The best way to enforce these policies is to clearly communicate expectations of employees while on the road. In litigation, the employer can be legally responsible for liability if the employer requires its members of staff to remain in contact while driving. If this is a requirement of your company, you want to ensure that the proper mechanism is in place to provide hands-free devices to employees that need them. Unlike in the situation in the US, In Canada the laws permit use of headsets on the road.
Our IT and telecom expense management system can make it easier to manage all aspects of corporate policy. An employee lifecycle management system allows you to know who has what so you can rest assured that employees are properly equipped. Contact us to learn more.