We at GPS to GO have been watching the issue of texting while driving develop over the past few years, seeing it grow as problem among young drivers and increasingly among fleet drivers. This is why our ZoomSafer product has been a big focus of ours lately: it’s a Blackberry and Android app that kicks in when the fleet vehicle starts moving, blocking text messages, emails, and browsing with the optional enabling of phone calls.
It was a confirmation to us that the problem is persisting when USA Today published an article entitled, “Companies Weigh Risks of Distracted Driving“.
It was through April being the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month that attention was brought to this issue. Until recently, preventing distracted driving had been focused towards young drivers. It is now just coming to light that fleet drivers face the same distractions, wherein businesses are realizing the liability risks and the implications on their company and bottom line. Businesses are now finally developing policies for their fleet drivers.
In fact, a new law was just enacted on January 3, 2012, prohibiting commercial vehicle operators from using handheld cellphones while driving. The law is estimated to affect 4 million truck and bus drivers, as well as tens of millions of other fleet drivers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop businesses.
“Drivers who violate the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Law face fines of $2,750 for each offense and loss of their commercial operator’s license for multiple violations. Companies that require or allow drivers to use handheld phones while driving face a maximum penalty of $11,000.”
The bottom line is that if an accident is caused by a distracted fleet driver, it brings more than just fines to the company – it can also bring liability. This is why it is an important issue to take into consideration when managing your fleet, and why distracted driving policies are more important than ever. In fact, even if an employee is driving their own car for work purposes, these new laws will still come into effect.
We at GPS to GO want to help you develop this policy through the implementation of our ZoomSafer product; for the benefit of your drivers, other drivers, and your business. A written policy itself will set the rules, but it does not physically disallow the driver from using their phone or device. Our ZoomSafer mobile app ensures employee compliance with your policy. It is completely configurable, allowing you to create various accounts, manage policies, and analyze usage. It has the following features:
- Auto-activates while driving.
- Blocks texting, emailing and browsing.
- Optionally enables phone calls.
- Flexible trigger service supports in-vehicle OBD, fleet telematics, Bluetooth®, or GPS.