Idaho Power announced Jan. 13 that its employees will be prohibited from using their cell phones or smart phones while operating vehicles on company business, unless they are using a hands-free device.

The safety standard was put in place based on recommendations from employees following a series of safety meetings in fall 2013, conducted by executives.

The company’s new attentive driving standard applies to any vehicle driven on company business, including rental cars and personal vehicles. The company prefers that employees make safe driving a priority and take calls only if it can be done safely while using a hands-free device.

Idaho Power said it has a tradition of making safety a top priority, not only for employees in high-risk occupations such as line work, but throughout its operations. For example, the Idaho Department of Transportation commended Idaho Power for its early adoption of safety belt requirements before it was a state law.

In other news from Idaho Power, the utility donated on Jan. 23 a service truck to a rural fire department, according to local news station The company donated a 1999 Dodge diesel 4x4 so the Centervill Volunteer Fire Department could retrofit it with a 500-gallon water tank to use for brush fires.

Idaho Power said that it dontates one or two trucks to the rural communities it serves every year.