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Safety & Accident

New Survey Gauges Industry Reaction to FMCSA Cell Phone Restrictions for Interstate Truck and Bus Drivers

February 15, 2012

RESTON, VA - The number of commercial fleet operators that have adopted written policies pertaining to employee use of cell phones while driving on-the-job has increased 31 percent in the past nine months -- from 62 percent in May 2011 to 81 percent in February 2012 -- according to a new survey of 570 fleet managers conducted by ZoomSafer.

Furthermore, the survey finds that the number of companies claiming to enforce their established cell phone use policies increased 70 percent in the past nine months, from 53 percent in May 2011 to 90 percent in February 2012. This increase clearly suggests that commercial fleet operators are reacting to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) new rule prohibiting an estimated 4,000,000 interstate truck and bus drivers from using hand-held mobile phones while driving.

Although efforts to enforce compliance with cell phone use policies have increased significantly among commercial fleets, the survey found that such efforts have until now been exclusively reactive. The most common enforcement methods include "Random Safety Audits" (71.9 percent), "Post-Crash Discipline" (51.8 percent), and "Peer Reporting" (49.6 percent). Furthermore, less than one-third (33.1 percent) of respondents were "very confident" that their companies' current enforcement methods are sufficient to ensure compliance with FMCSA cell phone regulations.

Another important finding in this analysis: while most fleet managers lack confidence in current enforcement methods, 27 percent plan to investigate cell phone use analytics and 21 percent plan to explore smartphone software solutions within the next twelve months to automate employee compliance with FMCSA cell phone rules.

"This survey shows that while the majority of commercial fleets are taking steps in the right direction to adopt policies prohibiting employee use of cell phones while driving, huge concerns still exist over how to effectively enforce compliance," said ZoomSafer CEO Matt Howard. "Judging from the results of this survey, it seems that everyone knows that telling drivers to put down their phones is simply not enough -- therefore, risk-conscious companies are seeking technology solutions to actively promote safe and legal use of cell phones while driving."

Results were collected online from 570 corporate managers via emails, newsletters, and websites. The results have a margin of error of +/- 5 percent with a 90 percent confidence. To download the full survey analysis please visit: http://zoomsafer.com/fmcsa-cell-phone-survey-analysis.

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