Distracted driving policy began Sept. 1
The City debuted a distracted driving policy to decrease the likelihood and severity of motor vehicle crashes. City of Minneapolis vehicles are involved in approximately 300 crashes a year on average, costing the City more than $500,000 in property damages and injury claims.
The distracted driving policy bans employees from activities that may divert their attention while driving. Employees may not use cellphones or electronic devices including those with hands-free technology while driving. Examples of prohibited activities while driving include:
- Answering or making phone calls.
- Reading or responding to emails and texts.
- Accessing the internet.
- Setting or adjusting GPS.
The policy has two major exclusions:
- Employees responding to a city emergency.
- Employees using the approved City’s two-way radio system.
The City wants to keep its employees safe. Numerous studies have demonstrated how the use of cellphones and other wireless devices while driving pose a significant distraction and safety risk to motorists, their passengers and others on the road. Scientific studies have shown that cellphone use while driving increases the risk of being in a crash by four to five times. Data shows that 29 percent of crashes with City of Minneapolis vehicles are caused by distracted driving.
The distracted driving policy requires employees to operate vehicles with a heightened level of awareness and responsibility to ensure public safety and prevent injuries and property damage.
Published Sep 6, 2016