Canadian Consulting Engineer

AMEC’s engineers will be driving only

October 14, 2005
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The 4,000 Canadian staff of engineering firm AMEC have been forbidden from talking on their cell phones or using th...

The 4,000 Canadian staff of engineering firm AMEC have been forbidden from talking on their cell phones or using their Blackberries and other wireless devices while driving. The directive is part of a world-wide policy, affecting 44,000 employees in total.<br>
Staff in Canada are finding it particularly hard, given our geography and the fact that staff often have to travel vast distances in order to reach their project sites. A press release from Amec’s Vancouver office says: “The reaction from employees is mixed. People realize that our productivity will take a major hit. Some people travel on the road all day, especially since the company’s projects are in some of the most remote locations in Canada.”<br>
The directive comes in the wake of reports from insurance companies that drivers are four times more likely to have an accident driving if they are on the phone. Being on the phone causes drivers to drift from lane to lane, change speed erratically, and generally become distracted.<br>
Amec is offering 10 tips to employees who are cell phone “addicts,” to help them when they leave their cell phones at home:<br>
1. Plan ahead call and send before leaving your desk or getting into your car.<br>
2. Purchase a new CD to play in the car. Looking forward to listening to this new music will help break the addiction.<br>
3. Select relaxing music when you are in bumper-to-bumper traffic, thus helping reduce your frustration of ‘not accomplishing anything’.<br>
4. Don’t foolishly believe that text messaging while at a stoplight is safe; most accidents occur at intersections.<br>
5. Unfasten (or turn off) your Blackberry, thus removing the vibrating beast from seducing you to look at it.<br>
6. Turn your phone off; simply having it on and ringing will generate anxiety and a desire to look and see who called.<br>
7. Heavily tempted? Put your wireless devices in your briefcase, and put the briefcase in the trunk.<br>
8. Ensure that those who regularly call, email, and text message you know that you are not available while in transit. <br>
9. Incorporate “I’m either in a meeting or driving” into your cell phone’s outgoing voicemail, letting your clients and friends know driving safely is important to you.<br>
10. Encourage other addicts to hang-up; similar to people that quit smoking, it is okay to be a strong advocate to others to create social change. <br>


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