The tougher penalties for those caught using a mobile phone while driving – and the potential liabilities for employers – have forced bosses to put policies in place preventing staff answering a phone in their vehicle without a handsfree kit.

The penalty for being caught driving while using a mobile phone increased this week to a £60 fine and three points on your driving licence, and the government has warned employers they are liable if they fail to stop their staff using mobiles in cars on work time.

Nine of this week’s 12-strong CIO Jury IT user panel said they have a policy in place to cover the use of mobile devices on the road by staff – although many already had such guidelines in place before the mobile driving ban.

David Supple, director of IT and creative services at Ecotec, said: “We have made everyone sign a policy right from the start of getting a phone, and this did include advice from the RAC on mobile calls – we have now updated this to reflect the current legislation. However, one area of issue remains pool phones and how we hygienically distribute handsfree headsets.”

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Drivers needing to use mobile phones is more of an issue in certain sectors such as transport and logistics sector. Phil Young, head of IT and operations at Amtrak Express Parcels, put a policy in place three years ago.

He said: “Being a logistics company it is essential that we maintain a safe environment for our drivers.”

Ric Francis, operations director at the Post Office, said: “We have reinforced our previous position of no conversations while driving, the importance of compliant cradles and the penalties.”

Paul Broome, CTO at, said his company currently doesn’t have a policy for staff using mobile phones in the car during work hours.

He said: “But perhaps we should – as a cyclist commuter I can count a near miss a day due to drivers on phones. And they are the ones I can see – who knows about the ones behind me.”

Today’s CIO Jury was…

Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
Chris Broad, head of IT, UK Atomic Energy Authority
Paul Broome, CTO,
Steve Fountain, IT director, Markel International
Ric Francis, operations director at the Post Office
Paul Haley, director of IT, University of Aberdeen
Myron Hrycyk, CIO, NYK Logistics UK
Mark Lichtenhein, CIO, PGA European Tour
Christopher Linfoot, IT director, LDV Group
Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
David Supple, director of IT and creative services, Ecotec
Phil Young, head of IT and operations, Amtrak Express Parcels

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