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AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SAFETY ENGINEERS’ NORRIS APPLAUDS SIGNING OF STATE’S BILL BANNING MOTORISTS CELL PHONE USE

Posted in on Wed, Oct 17, 2007

Des Plaines, IL (October 17, 2007) —
LONG BEACH, CA (October 17, 2007) — American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Regional Vice President Terrie Norris, CSP, ARM, CPSI, of Long Beach, CA, today applauded California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing legislation banning the use of cell phones by motorists.

In a letter to the Governor Norris stated, “ASSE is very pleased with the passage and signing of legislation banning 16- and 17-year-old drivers from using cell phones, lap top computers and other electronic devices while they are driving. Although it does not go into affect until next year and is only a secondary offense, we urge teen drivers to begin now – to not use cell phones, pagers, laptops or anything that can distract them while driving. Not only could they lose their life, but they could cause the death of another person or family due to their distracted driving.”

Norris is also pleased with a new California law prohibiting all drivers from using cell phones unless they are hands-free models. This bill goes into affect next year.

“These laws are a step forward in increasing roadway safety and on-the-job safety. Since for many workers their vehicle is their office and the number one cause of on-the-job deaths in the U.S. continues to be traffic crashes,” Norris said.

As a 96-year-old organization made up of more than 31,000 occupational safety, health and environmental practitioners located worldwide, with thousands in California, ASSE is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.

“A major concern of the ASSE membership is roadway safety. Of the 5,703 workplace fatalities recorded in the U.S. for 2006, nearly one out of four fatal work injuries were transportation related,” Norris stated.
“A contributing factor to these ongoing traffic fatalities are the distracted driver. They may not find themselves in a crash, but they can cause one.”

In California alone, of the 448 people who lost their lives due to an on-the-job injury in 2006, 167 were involved in a transportation-related accident, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2006.

“Distracted driving is a safety problem,” Norris said. “ASSE’s position is that operating a vehicle while using a cell phone is one of many potentially unsafe acts drivers do every day and needs to be addressed. We all know an accident can happen in a second.”

Norris, a longtime resident of Long Beach, CA, is risk control manager for Bickmore Risk Services which include risk management/loss control audits, program development, ergonomic evaluations, playground safety inspections and customized training programs. She holds a B.A. in business administration from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo, MI, and has additional safety experience in the insurance and various manufacturing industries including recycled paper, rubber and plastics and metal forming.
Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 31,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor and education. For more information check the Region I web site at http://region1.asse.org/ or ASSE’s website at www.asse.org.



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