December 18, 2019 at 8:03 am #15418Cheryl EvansParticipant
I’ve been asked to review our Mobile Phone policy to allow the use of company phones as Sat Nav’s and to re-review the Bluetooth capabilities to allow hands free (we have been against this for a number of years but being challenged because the law allows! – I know the dangers!).
It is being presented as part of a lone working policy for a particular service. If anyone has any guidance or experiences it would be appreciated.
CherylOctober 20, 2020 at 8:16 am #15421
You say you are ‘being challenged’ but you are quite within your legal rights to ban handsfree phone use while driving for business. I know of several companies that do this. Just remind anyone who queries it that you are around 4 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
Martin EvansOctober 20, 2020 at 8:17 am #15422
I strongly support the best quality satnav, and phones offer real time traffic updates etc which can reduce journey time and stress, avoid long delays and safety problems.
Drivers need to know they must not engage with the device while driving and not use phone etc because of cognitive load reasons. If they know that a disciplinary results from any use of phone this can deter them.
you can have an arrangement eg office rings staff lets it ring then hangs up and rings back twice again the same to say they have an urgent message (meeting cancelled; family emergency etc). If someone leaves for a 1 hr drive to a meeting that is cancelled just after they leave, this arrangement saves 2 hours of driving. I do not think phones should be silent for this reason, so people can still be contacted and diverted/journey cancelled if necessary. some phones allow it to be set to only ring for specific callers eg office or family. you can also set different ringtones for different people.
this facility to alert people while driving, so they can stop in a safe place to receive/make a call, can make the difference between getting to family in time in an emergency (accident, heart attack etc) and not for example. Even if it’s to say the last goodbye, I can vouch for how important that is to all those involved.
Miss KM CarpenterOctober 20, 2020 at 8:18 am #15423
Managing phones is closer to real world and more realistic than a ban when driving, consider the policy to manage the office/ sales team / manager / customers not to expect a person to answer the phone as they may be driving, not to assume an immediate call back, remove the pressure from the driver of always being available to answer the phone and speak to someone.
Perhaps a bit of training on how to make best use of voicemail, set tines for differing callers.
Agree with Kate, have a “code” that if the phone rings & hangs up twice in quick succession then call the office asap. Make satnav/hands-free a spec requirement for ALL company cars (all vehicles) – and reinforce it by checking the grey fleet. It removes your hassle of checking how individual drivers manage hands-free / bluetooth etc.
Not forgetting that for lone workers, as much as we may want to call them, they need suitable numbers to call at anytime they are at work – consider the out of hours contacts and check they work/ are current.
Lone workers or otherwise, make sure they are provided with appropriate route directions so they can set up the satnav correctly – consider apps like ‘What3words’ to improve finding address.
Andy GardenOctober 20, 2020 at 8:19 am #15424
I’ve advised various companies on mobile phone policy – both in terms of what that policy might be, but also how to tackle problems of compliance. If you have a zero phone use policy it would be a huge step backwards in terms of safety to move to allowing hands-free use. I’m more than happy to talk further about this, if that would be useful – feel free to get in touch.
Also, I don’t know if you’ve seen the Driving for Better Business survey results on phone use at work. This ties in with several issues of policy and how policy can be interpreted at different levels. Might be worth a look:
Gemma BriggsOctober 20, 2020 at 8:20 am #15425
Delighted to say after many years of trying the latest update to our corporate driving for work policy includes a total ban on hands free phone use etc. If you want a .pdf of it I can send. That is after about 7 years of lobbying our insurance/HR and H&S people.
We looked at insurance claims a while back, but difficult to tell – obviously as self-incriminating.
Just need to highlight this change now….. need a high profile example. From when we used to work with police doing roadside enforcement/education together I am aware that there will be a need to push this.
Keith BaldockOctober 20, 2020 at 8:21 am #15426
Underlying problem is that mobile phones were targeted initially arguably as a result of envy. That was followed by people “wanting” to show mobile phones are a safety problem – hence the comment about a 4 times crash risk.
The reality is that talking on a mobile phone is NOT unsafe. But all the other smart phone activities that take a driver’s eyes of the road ahead for 2 seconds or more ARE unsafe.
So advice should reflect these realities. Phones must be set up for voice commands; use voice commands to phone others; if traffic gets busy end calls/ don’t start new calls/ if you have to answer a call just advise you will ring back. Never enter phone numbers/ read emails or texts/ scan internet while driving.
JOHN M LAMBERT
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