Trend: Firms Ban Use of Hand-Held Phones in Vehicles

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a Washington, D.C. law firm after one of the firm's lawyers hit and killed a pedestrian while driving and talking on a cell phone.

A broker for Salomon Smith Barney ran a red light and killed a motorcyclist while trying to retrieve a dropped cell phone. The firm settled a lawsuit related to the matter for $500,000.

"The recent lawsuit focused our attention," said David Fuss, partner at Washington, D.C. law firm Wilkes Artis. "Our policy is that personnel are not to conduct business while using cell phones, unless they pull over and stop or use a handsfree device."

Companies can be held liable if their employees are found acting in a negligent fashion while conducting company business. As handheld cell phone-related accidents become more common, businesses are scrambling to set policies for employees conducting business while on the road.

New York became the first state to ban the use of handheld telephones by drivers, and similar legislation is pending in 42 other states.

Has your firm taken any measures to protect itself by setting guidelines for employees using telephones while driving?

You may like these other stories...

Accountants without a succession plan are hurting not only themselves but their clients as well. Here are seven ways to see your practice continues after you retire—some of them are better than others.What Are Your...
In my last article, I discussed the model of value pricing and the benefits this billing structure offers you and your clients. However, in order to set up the right value pricing for your client, you need to know what...
Remember the old joke about the devil showing a guy around Hell? There were great parties, swimming pools, and sumptuous food. The guy liked what he saw, lived a bad life and went to Hell when he died. Upon arrival the devil...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 26
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.