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New Distracted Driving Penalties for Connecticut Contractors


connecticut cellphone lawSome tougher penalties for drivers using cellphones have just passed Connecticut's Judiciary Committee.  Currently, the fines for being caught talking while driving are $100 for the 1st violation, $150 for the 2nd, and $200 for the 3rd and any subsequent violations.  The new proposal would change these fines to $100 for the first, and $500 for any subsequent violations.  Another proposed consequence for repeat offenders, is a 24 hour license suspension.  If caught talking on the phone, the state or municipal officer that pulled you over would seize your license, and you would suffer the inconvenience of having to retrieve your license 24 hours later in the town or district where it was seized.

For work, I'm on the road fairly often and see plenty of contractors driving vehicles both small and very large while talking on their phones.  Seeing someone driving a cement mixer or pulling an excavator while talking on the phone doesn't do much for my piece of mind!

Do you have a hands-free rule for your employees?

Is it in your employee handbook?

Is every employee at your construction company required to read and sign this handbook?

Are there any penalties for employees that are caught on their phone?

What would happen if one of your drivers had their license seized and couldn't legally operate one of your vehicles the next day?

What would happen if one of your drivers was pulled over during the 24 hours while their license was seized?

Regardless of your own thoughts on this matter, it is illegal to drive in the State of Connecticut while talking or texting on a cellphone without the use of a hands-free device.

Check back on our blog for updates as this bill moves through the House and Senate. Read more HERE

connecticut contractor insurance

Distracted Driving and OSHA Fines


distracted driving, cell phone liabilityWe all know that distracted driving has become an epidemic in the U.S.   In 2009, the DOT reports, more than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to distraction.  And yet, we continue to drive distracted.

As an employer, it is your obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace.  If that workplace happens to be a company vehicle, than make sure you have policies and procedures in place regarding the use of cell phones and texting while your employees are operating company vehicles and machinery. 

OSHA has joined the ranks of those trying to combat this epidemic.  If you are an employer who requires the use of cell phones or texting while driving,  or who organizes workloads in such a way that texting is a necessity you could be setting yourself up for an OSHA citation and fine!  If OSHA receives a complaint regarding the necessity of employees talking or texting while driving, they will investigate and where necessary assess citations and penalties!

So, save a life (or 2 or 3) and save a penalty – establish and enforce your policy today!

Here's another blog post on the subject, and one more

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