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  1. #1
    Designated Drinker Wulfheir's Avatar
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    My employer cracks down on dialing and driving

    I just received the email.
    Here's the title:
    <My employer's name> is committed to cell phone-free driving
    Here's a quote:
    The policy strongly recommends that employees not use their cell while driving, even if road and traffic conditions appear safe.
    There are no repercussions or deterrents. It's 2 pages look like they were written in a way to say, "Hey, we recognize that cell phone use while driving is dangerous and we're concerned for our employees and communities, but don't worry, we're not actually going to ask you to stop doing anything."
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  2. #2
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    How does something like this fall under the "jurisdiction" of your employer. Is the policy in regard to the use of company cars or trucks or are they trying to influence your behavior on the commute in your own vehicle. If it's that later, about all they can do is strongly encourage you and even that's pushing it IMHO.

    When's the don't eat at McDonalds memo come out.

  3. #3
    Designated Drinker Wulfheir's Avatar
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    The policy applies to any vehicles used on company business including rental cars and private cars and all other types of vehicles that are used for business. This policy also applies to personal as well as company cellular phones.
    I'd like to see a policy with more teeth, coming from a huge multinational.
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  4. #4
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    It sounds like a "CYA" memo. They want written documentation that they advised employees against using cellphones and driving. If an employee kills someone on company time they want to make sure that they have something in writing to fall back on. There aren't any penalties because it is something that gets very hard to enforce, especially if the employees are using their own vehicles for company work. They also don't want to establish a "rule" that they have no intention of enforcing. Instead they "advise." If they ever do get sued that memo won't be worth squat, but it makes them feel like they're covered.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    At Schlumberger, www.slb.com, cellphone use is banned while driving. If you are driving on the job, and get into a wreck while talking on a cellphone, you can be dismissed!

  6. #6
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    A cya policy like that isn't all bad. It gives you, the employee, a reason not to engage in business on the phone while driving. In other words, your boss can't get mad if you didn't take the call.
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  7. #7
    Designated Drinker Wulfheir's Avatar
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    Finning Canada, Halliburton and Sterling Crane also prohibit cell phone use on company business.
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  8. #8
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    My son drive a truck for a parcel delivery company, and for the last couple of years the campany has banned their drivers from carrying cell phones on the job. This reduces the efficiency of the work because they cant call ahead to check with customers to check that they are ready for a pick-up, or call back to the office to check for any additional orders. However this is what is needed until they come up with a system that jams cell phone operation in a moving vehicle.

  9. #9
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    probably trying to get a reduction on their health care rates.

    talking on cell phones has been shown to be as impacting on drivers as driving while intoxicated; I have a feeling the insurance companies will be encouraging these types of actions, starting with suggestions, from employers in the future.

    Heck, in america, a company is free to fire you for personal behavior off the job; and several companies will fire you if you smoke and don't quit smoking, on or off the job.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    I have mixed feelings on this one. Certainly I have seen, experience my share of traffic incidents due to cell phone behavior and i have ssen the studies comparing it w/ drunk driving. On the other hand, I don't see how the act of dailign a cellphoneis any differnet than changing the radio station, messing w/ your ipod, etc. As far as the talking goes, I don't see how talking ona cell phone is any different thna arguing w/ your spouse in the passenger seat or yelling at your unruly children in the back---all of these are distracting. I'm all about punishing people who injure others as a result of inattentive driving---whatever the cause of the inattentiveness. But I do not agree with the government prohibiting people from taling on the phone in the first instance. With the right hands free software/hardware and voice activated dailing, I beleive one can drive responsibly and talk on the phone just as one can drive responsibly and carry ona covnersation with a passenger. Just my 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    probably trying to get a reduction on their health care rates.

    talking on cell phones has been shown to be as impacting on drivers as driving while intoxicated; I have a feeling the insurance companies will be encouraging these types of actions, starting with suggestions, from employers in the future.

    Heck, in america, a company is free to fire you for personal behavior off the job; and several companies will fire you if you smoke and don't quit smoking, on or off the job.

    I think that is bullsh!t. Companies dont fire people for drinking off the job or for eating McDonalds everyday--or going home and eating a bag of ptoatoes chips while watching american idol. Unless it affects my work performance I dont think a company should have any say in what I do off the job---christ---most companies nowadays wont keep you around long enough for this to make any difference. Its just another form of social control over people.

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    actually, skanking biker, they can, and some corporations do fire employees if they engage in 'unhealthy', improper or illegal behavior off the job.

    there are large corporations that will fire you if you smoke and don't quit.

    This may become more farreaching in america as the costs of health care continue to explode.

    Coors brewing once fired a guy for drinking a budwiser at a bar and refusing a coors from one of his supervisors he ran into there. true story.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-10-07 at 10:48 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #13
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rover
    It sounds like a "CYA" memo. They want written documentation that they advised employees against using cellphones and driving. If an employee kills someone on company time they want to make sure that they have something in writing to fall back on.
    We get memos like these. My observation is that they do influence the behavior of some employees, so there is some benefit aside from the CYA aspect.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    actually, skanking biker, they can, and some corporations do fire employees if they engage in improper behavior off the job.

    there are large corporate employees that will fire you if you smoke and don't quit.

    This may become more farreaching in america as the costs of health care continue to explode.

    Coors brewing once fired a guy for drinking a budwiser at a bar and refusing a coors from one of his supervisors he ran into there. true story.

    Oh, I know that legally they CAN------but its still a load of crappity crap crap crap

  15. #15
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - many employers require employees to sign agreement to not use a company cell phone and/or conduct company business on a cell phone while driving...

    - using a cell phone while driving, even if it is a hands-free cell phone is a *bad* idea.. so is watching your GPS, fiddling with your stereo, or doing anything else that distracts from the task at hand: driving safely...

    - sheesh! i wish cagers would get a clue...

  16. #16
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    Multiple studies have shown that talking on the cell phone while driving has about the same reduction in judgement & reaction speed as a blood alcohol level of 0.08%.

    Oh, wait, isn't that the DUI limit in the US?

    Halliburton's policy prohibits cell phone use while driving a company vehicle OR using a company sponsored cell phone in ANY vehicle. That's how it falls under their jurisdiction.

    As part of the HSE team, I often investigate vehicle accidents. Just like most PI lawyers, one of the first things I do is get the cell phone records for the involved employee. If it is a company sponsored phone, all it takes is one email and about 48 hours.

    Cell phones are still fairly new to our culture. The fun part is that they leave tracks, records that can be used in court.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

  17. #17
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Back when I worked for a datacenter (involved hauling equipment from site to site at times), they had a similar policy.

    They did checkups by calling you when they know you are in transit...you answer, the first time is being told to stay home the next day....without pay. Second time you're fired. No exceptions.

    Basically it just made you turn off the ringer and be a good driver. I didn't care the reason, since it made perfect sense to me. I despise using the phone while driving......you can kill someone by not paying attention on the road far more easily than someone die from you not answering the phone.

    In event of ER staff, they still use pagers in this time and age...I know, I have family members who are ER staff....and yes, they still use pagers. it goes off, they go in. That simple...no gab time involved.
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  18. #18
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skanking biker
    I think that is bullsh!t. Companies dont fire people for drinking off the job or for eating McDonalds everyday--or going home and eating a bag of ptoatoes chips while watching american idol. Unless it affects my work performance I dont think a company should have any say in what I do off the job---christ---most companies nowadays wont keep you around long enough for this to make any difference. Its just another form of social control over people.

    Think what you want, but in the US it is an "employment at will" nation. You have the right to leave your job for any reason and they can pretty much fire you for any reason. Frankly it is fair. You do not have a right to employment in this country. If you don't like the policies at your current employer you are free to leave a find a job with the policies you like.

    I certainly don't want to go to a system like in the old USSR or even in France where once you are hired you cannot be fired. It can create a nation of underperformers, high prices, and poor quality products.
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  19. #19
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    Back when I worked for a datacenter (involved hauling equipment from site to site at times), they had a similar policy.

    They did checkups by calling you when they know you are in transit...you answer, the first time is being told to stay home the next day....without pay. Second time you're fired. No exceptions.
    On the other side of the coin, I get crap because I DON'T answer my cell phone when driving (or most other times). Just because I have a cell phone does not require me to be at the beck and call of every Tom, Dick or Harriet that wants to talk to me, whenever they want to talk to me.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    In Oregon, I believe we have "at will" employment or something to that extent. I had to sign a document acknowledging that I could be let go at will for any reason except legal discrimination. On the flip side, I have the right to quit at any time. If I have am absent for 3 continuous days without notice, my employer can legally decide I have quit and the go and fill my position.
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