Chrysler Slaps Texting-While-Driving Ban on Employees

December 15, 2009 ( – Chrysler, following the lead of lawmakers in a number of states, has now banned its employees from texting while driving a company car and from using a company phone or Blackberry in their personal vehicles.

A Detroit News report said the company is backing initiatives to ban texting while driving as well as a prohibition on hand-held mobile phone operation while driving.

“A driver’s primary responsibility is to be in control of their vehicle; texting while driving clearly interferes with that responsibility,” Steve Bartoli, Chrysler head of regulatory affairs, told the newspaper.

The automaker said it is also trying to serve as an example for the auto industry by pushing a safety initiative.

“The Chrysler Group values the safety and well-being of employees, customers and communities,” said Nancy Rae, executive vice president in charge of human resources, according to the news report. “As an automaker, we expect higher driving standards from our workforce and business partners as we design products and technology that bring greater levels of safety to our customers and their families.”

Like most manufacturers, Chrysler has a hands-free communications system with Bluetooth technology and recently announced that it will offer text-to-voice/message reader technology in some 2011 models, the News story said.