If yes, they need to stop today. Why? Effective October 1, 2019, Florida drivers can use wireless communication devices (e.g., cell phones) only in a hands-free manner when driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or work zone where construction personnel are present or operating equipment on the road or immediately adjacent to the work zone area. If they are stopped by law enforcement under these conditions, they will be issued a warning. On January 1, 2020, however, they will be issued a ticket, which will be punishable as a moving violation with a base $60 fine and 3 points assessed against their driver’s license.
Why should you care? Employers have an obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) to create a safe and healthful workplace. Therefore, employers should consider adopting policies banning their employees from texting while driving on company business or in a company-owned car (if they haven’t already). Moreover, they should not create any incentives for employees that encourage or condone texting. When conducting employee training, they also should consider including a discussion of their policy as well as the dangers of distracted driving.
If you are still wondering about the so-called “rules of the road” that can get you and your employees into trouble, here’s a little cheat sheet: