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Pirelli bans hands-free phone use

Date: 19 May 2010

Tyre company Pirelli has banned employees from hands-free mobile phone use while driving following an annual policy review.

Company car co-ordinator Steve Yates said the move was a "natural progression".

"Prior to this particular change in policy, we had not had any incidents that meant we should make an appropriate response. The idea with safety is to be proactive.

"To ignore the very real issue that the use of any hands-free phone accessory causes a distraction was, in our mind, not supportive to our drivers."

Employees' reactions to the policy change was positive with only one in 90 business car drivers concerned it would have an adverse effect on business and another who disagreed with the move.

Yates said a review after the policy had been in place for six weeks showed no evidence or feedback to suggest any adverse effect.

To enforce the measure, new vehicles ordered will not be fitted with hands-free equipment and all cars with existing kits will have been replaced over the next three years.

Yates added: "The policy only outlaws the use during driving and our drivers have been advised to inform all customers of this policy and leave a suitable message on the answer phone."

While there is no strict procedure for staff ignoring the move, Yates said Pirelli "acknowledges our drivers appreciate this change is in place primarily for their own safety and will be firmly embraced as the action of a business that puts its employees first".

ROSPA spokes person Jo Stagg applauded the move: "Evidence shows that any phone use is not a safe thing to do while driving.

"We urge employers to take the lead on this issue and take a 'no mobile phone' policy for managing occupational road risk."

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