Hunton & Williams LLP
December 17 2010
Recently, there has been a large amount of public commentary regarding the dangers of distracted driving, including texting while driving. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates workplace safety, has now officially declared texting while driving to be a workplace hazard and an OSHA violation. In its recent open letter to employers, OSHA explained that:
It is [the employer’s] responsibility and legal obligation to create and maintain a safe and healthful workplace, and that would include having a clear, unequivocal and enforced policy against the hazard of texting while driving. Companies are in violation of [OSHA] if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, or create incentives that encourage or condone it, or they structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their job.
The Department of Labor and the Department of Transportation are partnering with OSHA in its distracted driving initiative. These government agencies are initiating public awareness campaigns on the issue of distracted driving.
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