Penn State announces cell phone restrictions for employees on the road

April 28, 2010

In the interest of everyone's safety, Penn State has announced that effective April 28, University employees may not use interactive communications devices such as cell phones, text messaging devices, personal digital assistants or laptop computers while operating a vehicle on University business.

This policy applies to all employees (part-time and full-time faculty, staff and technical service) using the devices described above, whether they are using University-provided vehicles or non-University-provided vehicles. Drivers may have telephone conversations only if they use hands-free devices. This also applies to other individuals, including students and volunteers, using University-provided vehicles.

Penn State supports measures to minimize distractions of all kinds while driving. Research shows that the number of accidents related to distracted driving in the United States has increased since 2004. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that, nationwide, nearly 6,000 people were killed and 500,000 were injured in 2008 in crashes related to driver distraction, including talking on cell phones and texting while driving. Employees on University business and students and volunteers driving a University-provided vehicle should pull off the roadway to a safe location and park the vehicle to send or receive messages, or simply ignore incoming communications until the end of the trip.

This policy is superseded by any applicable local, state or federal regulation which is more stringent.

To see the full text of the policy, visit online.

Last Updated March 01, 2012