If a proposal moving through the Washington bureaucracy passes, there's traffic school, or at least a miniversion of it, in your future.
It doesn't matter if your driving record is a horror show or squeaky clean. As long as you drive as part of your job, you would have to get special driver training.
The rule would affect an estimated 35 million workers.
The controversial rule comes from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency concerned with safety in the work place.
The rule would require all workers who "routinely" drive on the job to sit through a training session once every three years to learn about safe driving. It also requires employers to mandate seat-belt use for all employees on official business, and to make sure employees know about the policy.
Companies that don't comply would risk fines. Companies with 10 employees or fewer would be exempt.
Some businesses have complained that the requirements were well intentioned but heavy-handed. OSHA has taken steps to address those concerns.
The original rule estimated that at least one hour of classroom training would be needed. The revised rule makes it clear that the employer may simply pass along the safe-driving tips to employees and give them a chance to ask questions.
The revised rule also makes it clear that OSHA will not fine companies if their employees fail to wear seat belts on official business -- only if the companies fail to adopt a mandatory seat-belt policy and make it known.
Guide to business
Maryland's sister state, Kanagawa in Japan, is developing a business guide on Maryland. The Japanese-language guide will be distributed to encourage business between companies located in Kanagawa and Maryland.
For the guide, the Maryland/Kanagawa Sister State Business Committee is seeking Maryland companies interested in potential Japanese investment, purchase or joint ventures.
Any company interested in participating in the guide should send a one-page summary describing the company and outlining the company's preliminary interest. The summaries should be received by Jan. 31.
All inquiries and summaries should be addressed to: Geoffrey Mitchell, chairman, Maryland/Kanagawa Sister State Committee, c/o Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, 250 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 21201. They also can be faxed to (410) 539-5223.