Halifax bans use of cell phones while driving for municipality staff

Encourages business to do the same as research shows there is a growing risk from reliance on cell phones in cars
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/06/2002

Employees of the city of Halifax can no longer use cellular phones while operating a municipality-owned vehicle or while using their own vehicles for municipality purposes — a move the city hopes corporations in the private sector will mimic, either by choice or through a city-wide ban.

Halifax’s chief administrative officer, George McLellan, said the policy is a major step in promoting safer use of cell phones and reducing the risk of accidents that could be caused by driver distraction. Cellphone-related accidents have not been a problem for the municipality, he said, but the city wants to be proactive. In addition to improving safety, the city hopes the policy will save money by reducing insurance liability costs for its vehicles.

“This is the minimum standard to be followed by all HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) employees,” said McLellan. “If it is necessary for an HRM employee to use the cell phone in a vehicle, then he or she must stop the vehicle in a safe location before receiving or placing calls. We would hope our employers would observe this same safety policy when using their own cellular phones in their own vehicles on their own time.”