Texting While Driving Policies "ENCOURAGED" for Government Contractors


It is no secret that sending or reading e-mails or text-messages, or “texting,” while driving is a hot topic for state legislatures. An estimated 16,000 fatalities occurred between 2002 and 2007 as a result of texting while driving,1 causing regulation of what has become the preferred-communication medium for Generation Y. Today, thirty-four states ban texting while driving altogether, while an additional seven states prohibit novice drivers from texting behind the wheel.2 Eleven of these states passed their respective laws as recently as 2010.3 Although these state laws are hardly surprising, a new procurement regulation might catch some government contractors and subcontractors off guard. On July 5th, the Government adopted as final Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") clause 52.223-18. A September 29, 2010 interim rule was previously entitled “Contractor Policy to Ban Text Messaging While Driving.”4 The final rule, which becomes effective August 4th, was re-named “Encouraging Contractor Policies to Ban Text Messaging While Driving” to better reflect its non-mandatory nature.5

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