Signed Wednesday night, the order covers federal employees when they are using government-provided cars or cellphones and when they are using their own phones and cars to conduct government business and took effect immediately involving 4.5 million federal employees, including military personnel.
The order states “text messaging causes drivers to take their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel, endangering both themselves and others.”
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement that Obama’s order also encourages federal contractors and others who do business with the government to bar their employees from texting while driving company vehicles.
Research from a University of Utah study shows distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
“Every single time someone takes their eyes or their focus off the road – even for just a few seconds – they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,” Lahood said. “Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and in a split second, its consequences can be devastating.”
To view the executive order click here
For Department of Transportation information on distracted driving click here
(Courtesy of the Department of Transportation)