95% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind, with 77% of these people owning a smartphone.
To deny the cell phone’s important place in our daily lives would simply be wrong. However, at work a cell phone policy can be important – particularly in the world of trucking due to legal risks.
This blog will help you to consider whether or not your trucking company needs a cell phone policy.
Why Does My Company Need a Cell phone Policy?
Cell phone policies help to establish employee boundaries. They set out how employees are supposed to use personal or business phones (or not) during work hours.
For example, rules for your office staff might restrict the use of personal mobiles – to avoid distractions, or prevent employees from irritating other people by taking long personal calls at their desks.
Some companies prefer to take a hard line and state that no employee is allowed to use a personal device at work, or during emergencies only.
When talking about your drivers, a business policy on the use of mobile devices is really important. It can help to educate them on the legalities that they must abide by when driving as part of your fleet.
The Advantages of a Cell Phone Policy
First up – it’s illegal for interstate truck drivers to use handheld cell phones while driving. Companies that allow drivers to do this (and that’s about four million drivers) could face a maximum penalty of $11,000.
Not only this, a business who supplies a phone to a driver might be held liable for them causing an accident if they’re on that phone while driving.
Meanwhile, a driver may face their own separate fine, and be suspended from commercial driving for repeat offenses.
So it’s really important that if you supply phones to drivers, they all sign your business cell phone policy. This should highlight the potential consequences for drivers – in order to educate them of what might happen to them if they flout the law.
Their signature should signify that they understand that driving while on the phone is illegal and that they accept responsibility if they do this.
Getting a driver’s signature on a policy may help to protect your position if a legal claim or prosecution comes against your company. However, this isn’t legal advice and we recommend you consult with an attorney if unsure.
Tracking Your Drivers
It would be ethically questionable to track an employee’s personal phone.
But providing business cell phones to your employees can help you to use GPS vehicle tracking software. If you get your drivers to agree to sensible use of a business phone, you’ll have the opportunity to keep an eye on your fleet.
You can use this to maximize fuel efficiency by optimizing routes. You will also be able to keep track of your fleet’s maintenance needs, check up on your drivers while on the road, and reliably let your clients know when to expect their deliveries.
GPS software is more affordable than you think, so why not get a free quote for your business today?