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Mobile Phones Remain a Major Concern

March 10, 2009

The Department for Transport has ruled out a review of the law regarding the use of hands-free mobile phones while driving.

This is despite TRL research that found that using a hands-free mobile phone while driving is more likely to lengthen reaction times than having 80mg of alcohol in the bloodstream – the current UK limit.

As a result, managers are advised to write into their policies that it is forbidden for their drivers to use hands-free phones while driving.

The reason for such a policy was reinforced follow the recent conviction of company director Lynne-Marie Howden for careless driving.

She was talking to a colleague on her hands-free phone when she crashed killing another motorist.

Many businesses have already banned hands-free phones while driving, including 3M and Luton Borough Council.

But, Steve Critchley, circulation director at NWN Media, said a change in the law would make it more “black and white” in terms of liability.

ACFO chairman Julie Jenner added: “It would make it easier for managers to be able to use the law to impose a total ban on the use of mobile phones in cars and personally I wouldn’t be surprised if this is indeed the next step.”

Meanwhile, ACFO is advising companies to document their policy and make sure drivers understand, and agree by its content.

However, more than three-quarters of British firms have no formal monitoring process for their employees driving on company business, according to Civica.

David Faithful, legal adviser to RoadSafe, said: “It is not just drivers who could find themselves prosecuted as a consequence of a road crash.

“If the conversation is work-related then their employer’s mobile phone policy will be examined by crash investigators

Source: www.companycardriver.co.uk

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