WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- More than 4 million federal employees are banned from texting while driving under a U.S. government-wide directive that became effective Wednesday.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called on federal employees to "lead by example" in following President Barack Obama's executive order barring texting while driving when on the clock or engaged in official business.
"Every time we climb into the driver's seat, we all have a responsibility for keeping our roads safe by putting away cell phones and other distractions," LaHood said in a release. "I am proud that the federal government is leading by example, and encourage others to think about how they can set a safety example in their communities -- whether it's through employee policies, safety awareness campaigns, or just making sure your teen driver knows the risks."
Obama signed the executive order Oct. 1 after a two-day summit on distracted driving. The executive order also urges federal contractors and others doing business with the government to adopt and enforce their own policies banning texting while driving on the job.
Immediately after the summit, LaHood ordered all 58,000 Transportation Department employees to comply with the order.
"Today it's second nature to remind our friends and loved ones to buckle up and not to drink and drive, and we have to send the same message about texting and talking on the phone," LaHood said.