FirstGroup America Reminds Motorists to Eliminate Distracted Driving

Dangers of mobile device use are highlighted during National Safety Month.

Jun 21, 2010, 11:50 ET from FirstGroup America

CINCINNATI, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstGroup America, the parent company of Greyhound Bus Lines, First Student (school transportation) and First Transit (public transportation), joins the National Safety Council to raise awareness for National Safety Month by reminding motorists to turn off mobile devices while driving. According to the National Safety Council, talking on cell phones while driving is estimated to increase crash risk fourfold. More than 50 research studies have shown that using mobile devices while driving results in about 1.6 million crashes, hundreds of thousands of injuries, and thousands of deaths each year.  

FirstGroup America (FGA) fully supports the prevention of distracted driving. In 2008, FGA established one of the industry's first companywide policies prohibiting all employees or contractors on company business from using a mobile device, either hand-held or hands-free, while driving.  Employees across all divisions of the company are instructed to pull over at a safe location and turn off their engine before making a call or sending a text message and are encouraged to apply this practice in their personal lives as well.  

"Driving is a visual task, and it requires a motorist's full attention," said Gary Catapano, FGA senior vice president of Safety. "Texting, making phones calls and searching for music all cause momentary distractions that place people at risk."

All drivers can help prevent dangerous driving activity by:

  • Not using cell phones, iPods or Blackberries while driving. Drivers should pull over to make phone calls, change their playlist or send texts.
  • Eliminating daily distractions such as putting on makeup or eating while driving.  
  • Paying particular attention to heeding school bus stop arms as children may be present.
  • Remaining alert at all times.

The National Safety Council is a non-profit organization that serves as the leading U.S. resource on industry trends, professional development, and strategies for advancing safety and health in the workplace.  FirstGroup received the National Safety Council's highest annual honor for safety in the workplace in 2009, joining a distinguished list of past recipients including Delta Airlines (2008 recipient), UPS, Intel, Liberty Mutual Group and other safety leaders in their respective industries.  

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About FirstGroup America

FirstGroup America, headquartered in Cincinnati, is North America's largest transportation company. With 100,000 employees, FirstGroup America operates First Student, the largest provider of student transportation in the U.S. and Canada; First Transit, a leading provider of transit management and contracting services; First Services, the largest private sector provider of fleet maintenance services, and Greyhound bus lines. Parent corporation FirstGroup plc, is traded on the London Stock Exchange and serves more than 2.5 billion passengers each year throughout the UK and North America.

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SOURCE FirstGroup America