Cell Phone Use Policy: Definition, FAQ and More

What is a Cell Phone Use Policy?

Cell phone use policy defines the expectations for the use of cell phones in the work environment.  In the context of driving a commercial vehicle, the policy is focused on mitigating or stopping mobile distractions while operating a vehicle while the employee is on duty.


What is a Corporate Cell Phone Policy

A corporate cell phone policy specifies the allowable usage of cell phones in the business environment.  A corporate cell phone policy will typically focus on the areas of data safety, loss of productivity caused by non-business related phone use, and distraction caused by cell phone interaction.

Corporate Cell Phone Policy Example

The ideal corporate cell phone policy should cover the following elements:

  • All employees
  • All company issued mobile devices
  • All company vehicles
  • Personal mobile devices used in a company vehicle
  • All work-related communications, even in personal vehicles or on personal devices

Here’s an example of a one-page policy that one of our customers used when they introduced LifeSaver Mobile to their employees.  Here’s another example for fleets that are regulated by the FMCSA.


Commercial Driver Cell Phone Policy

Fleet vehicle policies will typically include specific language focused on minimizing or eliminating the distraction caused by interactions with a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle.

Commercial motor vehicle policies have a clear definition of the restrictions of using a mobile device while driving:

A new FMCSA rule restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rulemaking restricts a CMV driver from holding a mobile device to make a call, or dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity.

Other (non-trucking) commercial fleets must have suitable cell phone policies in place and, preferably, a proven tool like a driver safety mobile app to restrict unsafe use of a mobile device while driving.


What is a BYOD Cell Phone Policy

A BYOD cell phone policy is aimed at controlling the misuse of mobile devices that are not provided by the fleet.  If the driver uses a personal phone while driving, for example, the fleet is still liable for damages caused by an accident if that accident is caused by cell phone use distraction.  While it is challenging to measure the interactions with a mobile device that does not belong to the fleet, it is still critical that the fleet have clear policy regarding the use of cell phones while driving on company business.  Because of the risk inherent with BYOD phones, it is advisable for fleets to provide mobile devices to employees or “lock down” the use of such devices through an MDM tool.

While it’s clearly more challenging to enforce a cell phone compliance solution on an employee’s personal phone, some companies have used creative ways to encourage the adoption of this technology on personal devices. For example, if the personal device is also used for work purposes, the company is typically providing a reimbursement to the employee for doing so and enrollment of the personal phone into the cell phone compliance program can be a condition that the company requires in order to continue receiving the reimbursement.  Another solution is for the company to offer the cell phone compliance solution to the employee and ask the employee to sign an acknowledgement that the offer was made even if not accepted. Here’s an example of an acknowledgement form that one of our customers used.


BYOD vs Corporate Cell Phone Policy

A BYOD corporate cell phone policy would be an extension of the regular cell phone policy specifically addressing devices used for business purposes—but not controlled or provided by the fleet.  The challenge for the fleet is that managing the risk of cell phone distraction can not be done as efficiently if the fleet does not have the capability to “lock down” the phone. Therefore, it is used only for relevant business applications.


How Does LifeSaver Mobile Help Enforce a Company Cell Phone Use Policy?

A key goal of a company cell phone policy is to restrict the distraction of mobile device usage while in the workplace, and specifically while operating a fleet vehicle.  LifeSaver Mobile enforces the cell phone policy of the company by restricting access to the cell phone or mobile device while the driver is operating a motor vehicle.  In this fashion, one of the leading causes of accidents is greatly reduced.