President Obama issued an executive order this afternoon, prohibiting government employees from texting and emailing while driving government vehicles or while driving on government business or while driving and using electronic devices purchased by the government. The idea is that the federal government should set a good example to encourage everyone else refrain from driving while data-drunk. Something tells me the dangers of getting bowled over by Blackberry-wielding pedestrians just went up around Washington.
Excerpts of executive order after the jump:
Section 1. Policy. With nearly 3 million civilian employees, the Federal Government can and should demonstrate leadership in reducing the dangers of text messaging while driving. Recent deadly crashes involving drivers distracted by text messaging while behind the wheel highlight a growing danger on our roads. Text messaging causes drivers to take their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel, endangering both themselves and others. Every day, Federal employees drive Government-owned, Government-leased, or Government-rented vehicles (collectively, GOV) or privately-owned vehicles (POV) on official Government business, and some Federal employees use Government-supplied electronic devices to text or e-mail while driving. A Federal Government-wide prohibition on the use of text messaging while driving on official business or while using Government-supplied equipment will help save lives, reduce injuries, and set an example for State and local governments, private employers, and individual drivers.
Extending this policy to cover Federal contractors is designed to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement. Federal contractors and contractor employees who refrain from the unsafe practice of text messaging while driving in connection with Government business are less likely to experience disruptions to their operations that would adversely impact
Sec. 2. Text Messaging While Driving by Federal Employees.
Federal employees shall not engage in text messaging (a) when driving GOV, or when driving POV while on official Government business, or (b) when using electronic the Government while driving.