Distracted Driver

I. Purpose

To establish a policy regarding the use of hand-held, mobile, and portable electronic devices by College employees, students, and authorized volunteers while conducting College business.

II. Definitions

Distracted driving - Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in while operating a motor vehicle. Such activities have the potential to distract the driver from the primary task of safe vehicle operation, which then increases the risk of having an accident.

Distracted driving can be divided into three categories:

  1. Visual - taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual - taking your hands off the steering wheel
  3. Cognitive - performing another task while driving that shifts the focus from driving to the secondary task.

Hand-held, mobile, and portable electronic devices include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Cell phones, pagers
  • Factory-installed hands-free communication devices, such as Blue Tooth accessories
  • I-pods or MP3 players
  • Hand-free devices, including wireless earphones
  • Laptop or tablet computers
  • Any voice-recognition device
  • GPS units

III. Policy

This policy requires the following:

  • Employees, students, and authorized volunteers are prohibited from using any hand-held, mobile, or portable electronic device while driving and conducting College-related business.

Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Receiving or placing calls
  • Text messaging (also prohibited by Colorado law See: C.R.S. 42-4-239)
  • Searching the internet
  • Receiving or responding to e-mail
  • Checking messages


  • GPS units - A GPS unit may be used as long as it is programmed either before a trip or when the vehicle is pulled off the road and parked in a safe location. A GPS unit must be positioned on the dashboard or windshield in a manner that does not obstruct vision nor focuses the eyes away from the front of the vehicle.
  • Cell phone calls in an emergency - As a general rule, drivers should make every effort to move to a safe place off of the road and check for traffic hazards before using a cell phone. However, in emergency situations a driver must use their judgment regarding the urgency of the situation and the necessity to use a cell phone while driving.
  • Two-way communication radios - Campus Police, Student Housing, Union Operations and Physical Plant Services employees may use two-way communication radios in the course of their job responsibilities. However, these employees should only use the two-way communication radio when it is safe to do so.


  • It is recommended that employees, students, and authorized volunteers while driving and conducting College-related business turn off, disable, or place out-of-reach hand-held, mobile, and portable electronic devices and use only when safe to do so. Before traveling, a driver can leave a voice mail and/or e-mail message indicating he will be traveling and will return any messages upon arriving at his destination. On extended trips, a driver should coordinate his message retrieval and place calls during planned breaks.

IV. Consequences

  • This policy has the effect of a College safety rule and violations of College safety rules can reduce any potential workers' compensation indemnity payments by up to 50% in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes (see: C.R.S. 8-42-112).
  • Other consequences may include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Forfeiture of use of College-owned vehicles
  • Forfeiture of use of College-owned hand-held, mobile or portable electronic devices
  • Removal from the authorized driving roster.

V. Resources

To learn more about the subject of distracted driving, access the National Safety Council's website or contact the College's Director of Environmental Health and Safety.