Many Company Directors and owners are not fully aware of the implications if one of their employees is involved in a fatal or serious accident whilst driving and using the phone.
Under the Health and Safety Act 1974, all companies must have a robust policy on Distracted Driving, as importantly, they must be able to demonstrate that the policy is enforced with all employees reminded on a regular basis of the policy and their responsibilities.
In the event of a fatal accident involving an employee distracted by phone usage, a proven failure to enforce the Distracted Driving policy can make the company and its Directors liable under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.
Since 2017, fines are unlimited and of a severity that would close down many companies, but it does not stop with losing your company. It is the Directors who are fined and the responsibility remains with them personally, even if their company fails. In the very worst instances, Directors face going to prison.
The driver can now receive a prison sentence of up to 14 years for causing an accident leading to a death whilst distracted and there have been calls for life sentences to be imposed in the worst cases.
It is also important to realise that having a conversation using Bluetooth at the time of the accident makes no difference whatsoever to the sentence, the offence is distracted driving or dangerous driving, it is not "using a mobile phone".
Q: What does ICED by Speed do?
A: When a phone or tablet exceeds 7 mph ICED by Speed blacks out the screen to prevent usage whilst driving.
Q: What happens when you try to use a phone that is ICED.
A: If the driver tries to use their phone whilst it is ICED, an audio announcement asks them to pull over at the next safe location. Once they have stopped, the phone is programmed to wait 60 seconds before it can be used.
Q: Wont ICED also stop me using my phone when I am a passenger?
A: Users can override ICED for up to 24 hours if they are a passenger. This is a three step process so it cannot be done accidentally. This feature can be allowed or disallowed, company-wide or for each individual. From a company point of view, if an employee says they are a passenger and then drives, they have made a conscious effort to deceive their employer, this effectively absolves the company if the user is then involved in an accident. Employers receive a message when ICED has been overridden, you can re impose ICED from your admin portal and withdraw permission for that person to override if necessary.
Q: What happens if I have an emergency whilst driving, someone is chasing me for example.
A: You can still make calls to our Emergency Response Centre when ICED, our highly trained Controllers can patch your call through to the Police letting them know who you are and where you are.
Q: What happens if I need to get a message to one of my staff and they are ICED, for example, an appointment has been cancelled.
A: Messages can be sent to the user from the Jobtrac+ portal, these messages are then read out to the user.
Q: Can you make and receive calls over Bluetooth when the device is ICED?
A: ICED can be set to allow or disallow Bluetooth usage depending upon your company policy, this can be set for each individual from your admin portal. Please remember Bluetooth will prevent you from getting 6 points on your licence but makes no difference if you have an accident whilst on a Bluetooth call.
Q: You mention tablets, how does that work?
A: We feel tablet usage when driving is actually more dangerous than phone usage as the device tends to sit on the passenger seat. With this in mind, we include tablet usage within the Jobtrac+ licence fee.