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WorkSafeNB reminds drivers to stow their phone while on the road

April 16, 2015

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month and WorkSafeNB is encouraging all workers to put away phones or other mobile devices while on the road.

A distracted driving ban has been in place in New Brunswick since 2011 and it is illegal to use hand-held devices while driving. Texting is the number 1 source of distracted driving crashes, but other causes include checking email, applying make-up and reaching for an object.

“We want all employees who operate vehicles as part of their jobs to be safe. Avoiding distractions is one way to do this,” said Gerard Adams, WorkSafeNB’s president and CEO.  “It only takes a short text or a glance at an email to put lives at risk.”

WorkSafeNB recommends storing hand-held devices out of sight and reach while driving.

“If the device isn’t accessible, there is no temptation to pick it up while at a red light or stuck in traffic. All incoming phone calls can go to voicemail and be returned at a later time,” Adams said.

If workers need to check voice mail or return calls, then the vehicle should be parked in a safe place.

While GPS devices are useful while on the job, they shouldn’t be programmed or handled while driving. Plan your route before you start your vehicle.

Further recommendations for employers and employees:

Employers can …

  • Create a company policy and safe work procedures that addresses distracted driving.
  • Communicate your policy and procedures often to supervisors, contractors and employees.
  • Support your workers. Let clients know that your employees do not answer phone calls, texts or emails while on the road.
  • Lead by example. Let others know safe driving is top priority in your company.

Workers can …

  • Know the expectations and responsibilities regarding distracted driving.
  • Follow the laws, regulations and company policies.
  • Lead by example. Practise safe driving and encourage colleagues to do the same.
  • Let clients and colleagues know that you do not take calls or answer texts or emails while on the road. Let them know that your only job while on the road is driving.

Resources:

Province of New Brunswick: Laws, penalties, tips for reducing distractions

CAA:  Tips for reducing distractions, crash odds, distracted driving laws by province, statistics

Insurance Bureau of Canada: 4 Reasons Why Driving While Distracted May be the New DUI

WorkSafeBC:  Worker, supervisor and employer responsibilities, sample company policy, videos, statistics

 

WorkSafeNB reminds drivers to leave cellphones and other mobile devices out of sight and out of reach while on the road.
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506 632-2223
communications@ws-ts.nb.ca






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