Baltimore Bans Workers' Cell, iPod Use While Driving

About 13,000 employees of the city of Baltimore are barred from using their cell phones or iPods while driving on official business under a new policy issued Wednesday by Mayor Sheila Dixon, according to a copyright article published today by The Baltimore Sun. The article (www.baltimoresun.com) states that the policy went into effect immediately but will be enforced 30 days from now.

Reporter Annie Linskey said the city's policy exceeds policies in 19 states and Washington, D.C., because it does not exempt hands-free devices or speaker phones. Baltimore's policy governs use of work and personal phones, according to the article, which says about 600 city employees were hurt in motor vehicle accidents last year at a cost of $6.4 million, according to city figures.

Linskey noted that the policy says first responders and police may talk on their cell phones only for "official emergency communications."

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