Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 1, 2009
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FEDERAL LEADERSHIP ON REDUCING TEXT MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7902(c) of title 5, United States Code, and the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 101 et seq., and in order to demonstrate Federal leadership in improving safety on our roads and highways and to enhance the efficiency of Federal contracting, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. With nearly 3 million civilian employees, the Federal Government can and should demonstrate leadership in reducing the dangers of text messaging while driving. Recent deadly crashes involving drivers distracted by text messaging while behind the wheel highlight a growing danger on our roads. Text messaging causes drivers to take their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel, endangering both themselves and others. Every day, Federal employees drive Government-owned, Government-leased, or Government-rented vehicles (collectively, GOV) or privately-owned vehicles (POV) on official Government business, and some Federal employees use Government-supplied electronic devices to text or e-mail while driving. A Federal Government-wide prohibition on the use of text messaging while driving on official business or while using Government-supplied equipment will help save lives, reduce injuries, and set an example for State and local governments, private employers, and individual drivers. Extending this policy to cover Federal contractors is designed to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement. Federal contractors and contractor employees who refrain from the unsafe practice of text messaging while driving in connection with Government business are less likely to experience disruptions to their operations that would adversely impact Federal procurement.
(b) "Texting" or "Text Messaging" means reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic device, including for the purpose of SMS texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, obtaining navigational information, or engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication.
(c) "Driving" means operating a motor vehicle on an active roadway with the motor running, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign, or otherwise. It does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when one has pulled over to the side of, or off, an active roadway and has halted in a location where one can safely remain stationary.
(i) Authority granted by law or Executive Order to an agency, or the head thereof;
(ii) Powers and duties of the heads of the various departments and agencies pursuant to the Highway Safety Act of 1966, as amended, 23 U.S.C. 402 and 403, section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 668, sections 7901 and 7902 of title 5, United States Code, or the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 101 et seq.;
(iii) Rights, duties, or procedures under the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 151 et seq.; or
(iv) Functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
October 1, 2009.
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