UN official bans employees from TWD

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on May 19 issued a directive to more than 40,000 staff members, barring them from texting while driving.

Ki-moon announced the directive during a gathering at the U.N. headquarters to launch a global effort to address the "dangerous and growing epidemic" of distracted driving. He was joined by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, other senior representatives from the United States and Russia, and Jennifer Smith from the nonprofit organization FocusDriven -- Advocates for Cell-Free Driving. According to a Department of Transportation press release, 32 countries to date have passed laws that restrict drivers' use of handheld communications devices. Portugal has outlawed all cell phone use by drivers.

President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order in October banning federal employees from texting while driving. In April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced plans (.pdf file) to combat distracted driving, including four initiatives that involve data, vehicle and behavioral approaches. NHTSA is expected to publish a final guidance document later this year.

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