NAFA’s Distracted Driving Position Statement can be downloaded by clicking here.
When an organization takes a stand and states certain behaviors are unacceptable, one can tell how seriously that organization honors that position by whether they themselves abide by it. NAFA Fleet Management Association, the premier association for the fleet profession, recognizes that the life blood of the job is the driver and the act of driving and that the use of electronic devices while driving is dangerous to everyone on the road.
In October 2015, NAFA issued the Association’s position statement regarding distracted driving, adopting a strong policy for all of its employees, contractors, and volunteers prohibiting the use of any electronic device – handheld or hands-free – while engaged in the act of driving.
“There cannot be any ambivalence about our position, no hypocrisy, no loopholes. We are the association for fleet professionals, and so the example has to begin with us,” said NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “Our ‘no devices while driving’ policy has been in effect for two years, and now we are extending that insistence to our contractors and partners.”
NAFA’s proactive efforts in 2013 by instituting ‘no device while driving’ positions in their employee policy were a major first step. This next phase announces forthright intolerance of distracted driving practices not only for employees but for the entities NAFA does business with.
The use of a cell phone – either handheld or hands-free – while driving makes it four times as likely that a driver will crash, according to The National Safety Council. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a rule banning commercial truck and bus drivers from texting while driving and, by a separate rule in 2011, banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers; essentially, the fleet industry itself.
“NAFA recognizes this is a strong stance, and there may be other organizations that will not agree or abide by it, but it is the right step to take,” Russo said. “Change begins with us, and so we have chosen for this to no longer be open to discussion. It’s time to turn off the devices, focus on the task at hand, and bring safety and sanity back to our roads.”