Fleets up efforts to enforce cell-phone restrictions

Efforts to enforce compliance with cell phone use policies  have increased significantly among commercial fleets in reaction to the Federal  Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) cell  phone restrictions for commercial truck and bus drivers, according to a  survey of 570 fleet managers conducted by ZoomSafer,  a provider of enterprise software to prevent distracted driving.

The number of commercial fleet operators that have adopted  written policies pertaining to employee use of cell phones while driving on the  job has increased 31% in the past nine months — from 62% in May 2011 to 81% in  February 2012 — according to the survey.

Furthermore, the survey finds that the number of companies  claiming to enforce their established cell phone use policies increased 70% in  the past nine months, from 53% in May 2011 to 90% in February 2012.

“This increase clearly suggests that commercial fleet  operators are reacting to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new  rule prohibiting an estimated 4,000,000 interstate truck and bus drivers from  using hand-held mobile phones while driving,” according to said ZoomSafer CEO  Matt Howard.

Although efforts to enforce compliance with cell phone use  policies have increased significantly among commercial fleets, the survey found  that such efforts have until now been exclusively reactive, Howard said.

The most common enforcement methods include "Random  Safety Audits" (71.9%), "Post-Crash Discipline" (51.8%), and  "Peer Reporting" (49.6%). Less than one-third (33.1%) of respondents  were "very confident" that their companies' current enforcement  methods are sufficient to ensure compliance with FMCSA cell phone regulations.

Another important finding in this analysis: While most fleet  managers lack confidence in current enforcement methods, 27% plan to  investigate cell phone use analytics and 21% plan to explore smartphone  software solutions within the next 12 months to automate employee compliance  with FMCSA cell phone rules.

"This survey shows that while the majority of  commercial fleets are taking steps in the right direction to adopt policies  prohibiting employee use of cell phones while driving, huge concerns still  exist over how to effectively enforce compliance," Howard said.

"Judging from the results of this survey, it seems that  everyone knows that telling drivers to put down their phones is simply not  enough — therefore, risk-conscious companies are seeking technology solutions  to actively promote safe and legal use of cell phones while driving,” he added.

To download the full survey analysis, go to: http://zoomsafer.com/fmcsa-cell-phone-survey-analysis.

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