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Cell Phone Policy


Cell Phone Policy

With the new Purpose ruling on CDL and CMV drivers from the United States Department of Transportation (FMCSA35-11) has anyone put into effect a cell Phone no usage while driving policy?

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Our city policy is no city employee is to use a cell phone while driving unless it is done with a hands-free device. The only other exception is for emergency services (particularly the police as fire and ems have more than one person in a vehicle) and critical information is needed which cannot be exchanged over radio. If so used, it will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


XXXXXX County drivers will comply with the following:
Restricted Activities
The following activities are restricted while driving a County vehicle:
• The use of or holding of communication/entertainment devices such as cell phones, laptops, entering info in GPS. (Note: This will apply while driving and as well when stopped at a red light or for a train, to use the device you must be legally parked).
• Reading, writing and grooming (flossing teeth, makeup, styling hair, clipping nails, shaving, etc)
• Eating and smoking
Allowable Activities
The following activities will be allowed while driving a County vehicle:
• Drinking of non-alcoholic beverages
• Phone calls can be made if the driver’s vehicle is off the roadway and legally parked before engaging in any of the restricted activities. (Note: If you are on a provincial highway, section 43 of the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation applies and vehicles are not permitted to park on the shoulder of a highway except in an emergency).
• Phone calls can be made while driving if using a hands free system as long as it is in voice activated mode. Also you will be able to use an ear phone if it is used in a hand’s free or voice activated manner.
• GPS may be used but it must be programmed or set up in advance of driving so that drivers are not manually typing or inputting information while driving. (Note: XXXXX County's GPS system is equipped with “5 hot buttons” which send out a signal for items such as appliances/garbage in ditches, large potholes, etc. This “hot button system” will still be allowed). GPS units must be secured to the vehicle and may only be used in hands free mode while driving.
Using Hands Free devices won’t be a violation. In addition radio communications such as two-way radios will be allowed. Drivers will be able to use hand-held devices to contact emergency services and this policy would not interfere with the official duties of emergency service personnel including enforcement, and fire services.
An emergency vehicle includes enforcement services, and fire response. The drivers of these emergency vehicles will be able to use communication devices or other electronic devices only when acting within the scope of their employment. Any form of texting while operating an emergency vehicle is strictly prohibited.
Enforcement of this policy will be the responsibility of managers, supervisors and foreman as this keeps the accountability within the specific departments. An employee found to be in violation of this policy will be disciplined as outlined in the “Progressive Discipline” procedure in the Employee Handbook.
**This policy protects both people and property and is in compliance with Alberta’s Bill 16 on Distracted Drivers. Please refer to the province for any additional information, although XXXXX County may have a more comprehensive standard all provincial legislation will be followed as a minimum. **

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Here is an excerpt from our vehicle policy that addresses this issue. I am not sure the formatting on Table 1 will come through though.:

Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices

1. To meet or exceed new vehicle codes, and reduce distractive driving behaviors, the use of electronic communication devices by drivers shall be limited to that described in Table 1 below.

2. All ancillary functions of cell phone usage including texting, e-mail, internet access and GPS navigation are prohibited while driving.

Device Allowed Usage Comments
Hands Free Cell Phone None * Exception-Emergency Reporting
Two Way Radio Limited Minimize use & pull over as necessary
Mobile Display Terminal (MDT) Limited In Reverse (backing-up) Camera only
Mobile Data Collectors Limited Pull over to resolve error
PDA/ Smart Phone None

* NOTE: This restriction applies while driving District vehicles only. Exceptions may be granted by the driver's Executive Management where a legitimate need is justified in advance and documented in writing.

3. “Hands Free” use in personal vehicles should be minimized.

4. All drivers are responsible for the minimization of any form of driving distractions and is personally responsible for resolving any traffic citations.

NOTE: The usage outlined in Table 1 is more restrictive than current vehicle codes. (California Vehicle Code 23123)

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

APS Corporate Procedure 63-01 says:

“Cell Phones, Two-way Radios, and Other Communication Devices – Electronic devices that can cause a visual or audible distraction such as cell phones, two-way radios, laptops, PDAs, iPODs, etc. (whether text messaging, e-mailing, talking or listening) shall not be used while operating Company Vehicles when the Vehicle is in motion. The only exception to this rule is communicating on a Company-supplied radio in order to perform the task at hand where the communication can be done safely.”

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


If you have not seen FMCSA final rule on cell phone use in CMV’s, we have the rule on our website. You can view it or download it from our blog

The final rule will take effect on January 3, 2012.

What are some of the steps your company has taken or will be taking to respond to this new rule?

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

In California we have had a similar policy for several years. Most of our team members adjusted to it with relative ease. The big difference is the penalty sections. In California, the penalties are primarily financial in nature, but in the federal regs the penalties seem to look very similar to those associated with driving while under the influence. The concept of losing your commercial drivers license for talking on the phone is going to be foreign to many. Additionally, the idea that you can be prevented from qualifying for a commercial license because for talking on the phone in your personal vehicle is going to be even more foreign. That being said, for those of us with commercial drivers licenses, we will need to ensure that everyone fully understand the ramifications.

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


Since FMCSA's final rule on cell phone use by commercial vehicle drivers took effect this year, many companies have started viewing distracted driving as a serious issue. Due to liability issues, many companies have started implementing and enforcing distracted driving policies.

To help you refine your existing distracted-driving policy or aid in the development of a new one, we put together a list of sample policies and external resources on our blog.

You can access the sample policies on our blog as well as under the policies and procedures section.