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Mobile Device Law Starts Today – Reminder: Illinois Mobility Hands Free

On November 18, Barton Staffing Solutions Blog published an article: “Best Practices Staffing Industry Mobility New State Law.” The Blog pointed out the importance of the new Illinois state mobile device law for 2014, and some basic guidelines for people in the Staffing Industry to follow, as the new year approaches.

Pertaining to this blog, this is important for employees of staffing companies, their recruiters, their temporary staff members, their clients and customers, and everyone. It’s easy to lose sight of – but the new law has no forgiveness in it for ignorance, when the risk of distracted driving can result in serious injury or death of innocent parties.

Well, as of today, the new law is in effect. Let’s review the important aspects of a mobile device use policy, as it pertains to this law. Nothing has changed in terms of the value of constant, and mobile, connectivity and communication is to the staffing industry. But laws like the one in Illinois taking effect in 2014, and other similar laws in other states, exist for the safety of drivers and others around them while using any mobile device.

Yes, that’s right, it pertains to ALL mobile devices that let you communicate – smart phones, tablets, music devices that run Skype or other mobile communications systems…, If you don’t know about your device, check into it with the manufacturer, it is likely covered under this law.

Suggested Best Practices:

  1. It’s best not to make or take calls when traffic or driving of either party requires focus. That is to say, the person calling, or being called is in a distracting environment, such as in traffic, or driving a vehicle.
  2. If you drive and must make calls, use a Bluetooth hands-free devices and it MUST have voice-activated-dialing. That is to say that you should not have to look at your phone and punch in numbers, or scroll through a list of contacts to find the party you want to call.
  3. If you don’t have a Bluetooth hands-free device, purchase one now. They are inexpensive, and cost less than the penalty for using a mobile phone without one.
  4. When making calls to a partner and scheduling or making business decisions that require full attention, take those calls only when not driving.
  5. If you initiate a call, and you don’t have a voice-activated dialer, pull over to find the parties contact information and then dial the party before continuing to operate the vehicle. Better yet, complete the call while pulled off the road.
  6. When making a call to a business partner, (or for that matter, any party), ask them: “is this a good and safe time to talk?” Ask them if they are driving, and having a conversation is a distraction. If they say yes, respect that answer, and call later.

You can add and personalize how you call and interact during your use of acceptable and legal mobility devices. The primary rule of thumb is always going to be putting your safety and the safety of others first.

If your company doesn’t have a mobile phone use business policy, bring it up with your manager or other leader in the organization who can develop one. The liability, now made clear in the Illinois state mobile device law, is not worth the risk. After the new law takes effect, the penalties will be significant. Your company should make it clear what is, and is not, acceptable for mobile phone use while driving.