Wayne Smolda, President of CEI, offered the following provocative thoughts on his blog (bold added by us for emphasis):
On balance, technological advances are proving to be beneficial to fleets. Vehicles are safer than ever before and get better fuel economy. When used properly, wireless communications are also helping fleets and their drivers to be more productive in such ways as plotting more efficient routes and enabling drivers to stay in closer touch with their organizations and customers. But there are two applications of wireless communications in the realm of traffic safety that I believe are having a potentially very nasty unintended consequence.
The applications are telematics and traffic cameras, and the unintended consequence is an all-but invisible increase in fleet liability…such systems are also capturing data that could reveal that some drivers are habitually speeding…the data being captured makes it possible for fleets to identify high-risk drivers. Yet, how many fleets are actually converting that data into actionable information…? I submit that many are not – even though the data resides in their computer systems.
A similar challenge comes from the proliferation of traffic safety cameras. Camera-issued tickets are sent to the registered owner of the vehicle, but in most cases that is the fleet, not the driver. That means that most of the violations don’t get recorded on one of the major tools fleets use for identifying high-risk drivers, their motor vehicle records. Unless fleets find a way to connect traffic camera violations to the drivers responsible, they are missing another opportunity to use the data they have to identify drivers they ought to reconsider trusting to operate a motor vehicle.
The very real gap in data leading to “compassionate interventions” to address safety issues can be easily overcome by using SafetyFirst’s “Safety Hotline” program and our “E-DriverFile” system. Both programs capture telematics alerts AND automated traffic enforcement violations to present on a BLENDED RISK SCORE REPORT.
In fact, we’ve previously published an article showing a one-year decline in GPS speed alerts of 600% based on using our coaching processes to curb the risk taking behavior BEFORE it led to bigger problems.
YOU set the time frames and the score weighting for your own fleet operation, and you can also generate “violation only” scores versus “blended scores” — where one can be used to assign non-punitive training (via our new “SAFETY ZONE” learning management system with the industry’s newest, most provocative refresher modules, and the other can be used for Human Resources (i.e. disciplinary) purposes.