GE Capital UK announced today that 100% of employees with a company mobile phone, driving on company business have opted into a driver declaration not use their phone while behind the wheel. This recommendation includes the use of speaker phone, installed hands free kits/GSM and Bluetooth devices.
The use of mobile phones while behind the wheel is currently one of the top three priorities UK businesses are looking at tackling when it comes to their fleet vehicles. According to the latest Company Car Trends Report by GE Capital Fleet Services, 65% of respondents cited the use of mobile phones while driving as one of the issues that they are currently taking into consideration. Despite the new sentencing guidelines that came into effect earlier this year, the focus on corporate manslaughter legislation has waned since the last Company Car Trends Report; it now comes second to the use of mobile phones when looking at the issues being focused on by fleets.
The report also showed that while 89% of respondents already have mobile phone policies in place, a significant proportion (69%) are now turning their focus towards the associated risk management and duty of care. Therefore, as employers increasingly look to the safety of their employees it may lead to a growing number of fleets banning the use of mobile phones in vehicles altogether.
Whilst GE Capital UK is not imposing a total ban, it is advising that all employees switch off their phones while driving and let their voicemails pick up messages that they can respond to once out of their vehicle.
John Jenkins, CEO, GE Capital in the UK, said: “The safety of our employees and other road users is of utmost importance to us, which is why we want to limit the use of mobile phones while driving as much as possible. It is vital that all drivers remain focused on driving when they are behind the wheel and we hope that our actions assist our drivers in doing so.”
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