Launching an Effective Cell Phone Ban Inside Your Company

By Jude Carter

It’s National Safety Month and everyone is on the distracted-driving bandwagon. Eighteen months ago the National Safety Council called for a ban on using cell phones while driving. Since then, federal and state agencies have followed suit and launched educational campaigns.  When you consider the facts, 1.6 million crashes per year involving cell phone use, the choice should be clear. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.

However, creating, launching and enforcing an effective cell phone ban inside your company is a far more complex task. 50% of companies have issued some sort of policy or ban, but that’s just the beginning. What are they doing to promote the message and continually build awareness to “make it stick”? Some companies are trying to take the decision out of the employees’ hands and use technology to block calls and texts while driving.

In the meantime, there are certain external factors that compete with these efforts:
· Hand-held technology is here to stay and becoming ever more seductive in all that it can do for us.
· Cars are no longer just for driving from A to B. They are now entertainment centers, feeding stations and phone booths on wheels.
· As a nation, we’re obsessed with multi-tasking, even though it has not proven to make us any more productive.

Not so long ago, (though it sure seems like it) we actually had to find a phone booth to make a call. The economy did not come to a grinding halt because we took the time to make those calls.

Maybe what we really need are phone booths…without phones― if for no other reason than to remind us to stop, and make that call as a discreet activity, deserving of our time and attention.

Of course, that won’t stop you from eating your Wheaties while driving― though you could have breakfast in the phone booth, too.

Sharon Toelle
June 14, 2010

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