UPS Reviewing Driver Cell Phone Use

UPS Reviewing Driver Cell Phone Use

UPS said it is preparing to follow its ban on driver texting with a broader policy on use of cell and smart phones while its employees are behind the wheel, in support of federal policies to combat distracted driving.

The company made the announcement while Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and other top Department of Transportation officials were hosting a daylong distracted driving summit in Washington, D.C.

UPS said it is standing with the DOT "in support of policies that would effectively reduce the likelihood of serious, life-threatening injuries on the roads" through distracted driving.

DOT on Jan. 26 announced a ban on sending text messages over cell phones while driving.

Also this year, UPS said, it implemented "a ban within its organization on text and e-mail messaging while behind the wheel. The company is reviewing a policy now that would comprehensively address the use of cell phones and smart phones."

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood thanked UPS "for leading by example and joining us in this critically important effort."

Allen Hill, UPS senior vice president for human resources, said the company "is hardly a newcomer to safe-driving techniques and training." UPS said it spends more than $53 million a year on training, with nearly 1.3 million hours of safety-related instruction.

However, he said, "we do see this as a problem of increasing importance" and "it is up to companies like UPS to help deliver" on the goal of saving lives through distracted driver policies.

-- Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com.