Guest Blog: Making Sense of Transportation Laws to Keep Your Attendees Safe

The use of cell phones and handheld devices has greatly aided the transportation industry. Gone are the days of not being able to reach your driver or have instant access to directions. These new forms of technology may be convenient, but they must be used in a safe manner. In January 2012, a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration law was published stating that drivers are not allowed to use handheld mobile devices while operating commercial motor vehicles. The law requires drivers to avoid picking up any talking or texting devices, but the use of wireless or hands free technology, such as Bluetooth or speakerphone functions, are still allowed. With this law in place, planning and alternative means of communication become crucial for your next event.

The use of cell phones and handheld devices has greatly aided the transportation industry. Gone are the days of not being able to reach your driver or have instant access to directions. These new forms of technology may be convenient, but they must be used in a safe manner.

In January 2012, a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration law was published stating that drivers are not allowed to use handheld mobile devices while operating commercial motor vehicles. The law requires drivers to avoid picking up any talking or texting devices, but the use of wireless or hands free technology, such as Bluetooth or speakerphone functions, are still allowed. With this law in place, planning and alternative means of communication become crucial for your next event. Plan Ahead With safety of passengers as a key objective for all events, it is key that your arrangements include established communication plans prior to your conference or event.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid transportation challenges:

  • Review your travel plans and identify any changes that need to be made before your team departs. Although last-minute changes will happen, by coordinating as many details as possible up front, you can ensure a smooth transition during transport.
  • On-site communication plans should also be in place. For instance, if a driver isn’t able to answer their cell phone in transit, have an on-site coordinator ready to relay information. Having an event sheet handy with the function details including locations, transportation stops, driver’s name and contact number(s), is also important when ensuring smooth sailings.
  • Establish backup plans to accommodate for any unforeseen circumstances or delays.
  • Another helpful planning tip is to monitor construction and traffic patterns prior to departure allowing the group to detour any major delays. If an unexpected change is encountered enroute to the next stop, partnering with a Destination Management Company (DMC) will ensure a team member is able to communicate with onsite staff, monitor traffic and decide alternate routes on the fly. Case in point, during an airport to hotel transfer, a last-minute change was required for one particular guest. With the presence of the onsite manager, metroConnections was able to alert the driver at the airport to guarantee the proper message was relayed and executed. From ordering the vehicle and matching a driver with a client’s needs to providing onsite staff members that are highly trained, the DMC team was able to facilitate the last minute change effortlessly. metroConnections helps ensure many events were headed down the right road, literally, and we look forward to helping you with your next event.

About the Author:

A member of the metroConnections team since 1990, Splittgerber started as a Transportation Services Coordinator and moved into sales for the same division before being promoted to her current position. In this role, she oversees the Tour and Transportation Services division, its operations and sales functions. Prior experience includes sales and marketing positions in the hotel industry. She has extensive experience including execution of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America tour/transportation programs each year in different cities throughout the country, management of multiple 4,000 person conventions within a one month period, and even juggling the management of 17 groups during the NCAA final four championships. A member of MPI, she holds a B.A. in Journalism/Advertising from South Dakota State University. About metroConnections Since 1984, metroConnections has provided complete conference, event, stage production and transportation services for meeting and event planners nationwide.

With annual revenue of $13.4 million, the company operates from its headquarters in Minneapolis, Minn. and produces more than 1,400 programs per year. The metroConnections team uses its expertise and resources to specialize in the design and implementation of themed events, stage productions, transportation, tours and conference program logistics and meetings. metroConnections also offers audio/visual and production services and is the creator of Attend-eSource®, a web-based solution that includes elements such as online registration and custom-built event websites.

For information on planning conferences, events, stage productions, transportation logistics or group/companion tours, contact metroConnections at 612-333-8687 or visit www.metroconnections.com.

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