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Release Number: 10-1323-NAT
Sept. 21, 2010
Contact: Diana Petterson       Jason Surbey
E-mail: petterson.diana@dol.gov       surbey.jason@dol.gov
Phone: 202-693-1898       202-693-4668

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announces partnership with
US Department of Transportation to combat distracted driving by workers
OSHA launching initiative to discourage texting while driving on the job

WASHINGTON - Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of worker fatalities, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation to combat distracted driving.

"It is imperative that employers eliminate financial and other incentives that encourage workers to text while driving," said Secretary Solis. "It is well recognized that texting while driving dramatically increases the risk of a motor vehicle injury or fatality."

Prohibiting texting while driving is the subject of an executive order signed by President Barack Obama last year for federal employees and the subject of rulemaking by the Department of Transportation.

OSHA is launching a multi-pronged initiative that includes:

  • An education campaign for employers, to be launched during "Drive Safely Work Week" in early October, will call on employers to prevent occupationally related distracted driving, with a special focus on prohibiting texting while driving.

  • An open letter to employers to be posted on OSHA's website, http://www.osha.gov during "Drive Safely Work Week." The website also will showcase model employer policies and encourage employer and labor associations to communicate OSHA's message.

  • Alliances with the National Safety Council and other key organizations as outreach to employers, especially small employers, aimed at combating distracted driving and prohibit