ITD encourages employers to help stop distracted driving

Employers may be some of the best safety partners when it comes to combating distracted driving.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), Idaho Power, Franklin Building Supply and KTVB/KTFT are leading the way by enacting policies that ban or restrict use of hand-held electronic communication devices and cell phones while in a company vehicle or in a personal vehicle with a company-issued cell phone.

“Safety is the number one priority of ITD,” said Scott Stokes, ITD chief deputy.

“By creating a no-phone policy, employers not only keep their employees safe, but they are doing their part as responsible members of the community,” he explained. “We hope every employer in Idaho will join us in making our roads safer by encouraging employees to put phones down and focus on the road.”

Distracted driving is a growing problem on Idaho’s roadways with 43 people killed last year in distracted-driving crashes. During the past five years, a total of 245 people were killed on state roadways, with an average of more than 3,500 people injured in each of those years.

Texting or using cell phones behind the wheel takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your focus off driving – putting the driver and others in danger. 

“As anyone who has lost a loved one in a crash can tell you, even one traffic fatality is one too many,” added Stokes. “We are committed to eliminating this unnecessary risk and strongly believe that no conversation or text is worth the potential danger.”

A number of activities encouraging people to not drive distracted have been under way this month, including news stories and Public Service Announcements produced by KTVB. Other activities included a Just Drive fair hosted by the Idaho State Police at POST in Meridian where drivers could test their driving skills while texting on ISP's driving course.

Published 8-15-14