Fleet tracking boosts efficiency, productivity and safety
GPS fleet tracking offers company fleet managers a host of business benefits.
- Real-time vehicle tracking means pickups can be better coordinated
- Reporting enables monitoring of vehicle activity, usage and fuel economy to manage fleet running costs effectively
- Improved fleet productivity by ensuring the accuracy of timesheets
- Route efficiency analysis
- Optimising individual driver workloads
But, if you plan to introduce electronic fleet management to your company’s vehicles, it’s important that you first understand your legal obligations.
The Importance Of Knowing The Vehicle Tracking Law
Fleet managers need to be aware of the implications of company vehicle tracking with regards to staying on the right side of the law.
Company vehicle tracking systems generate data about the use of the vehicle by its driver, and the way this data is used must comply with several areas of legislation regarding data privacy, employee rights and human rights.
Fleet managers need to be particularly aware of the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 which sets out the rules for the collection, use and sharing of data. According to this legislation any data collected which impacts or has the potential to impact on an individual or their family whether in a personal, family, business or professional capacity, is deemed to be ‘personal data’.
Since the data and reports provided by company vehicle tracking systems regarding a vehicle’s movements may be linked directly to a specific, named driver, this data falls within the Data Protection Act’s definition of personal data and must therefore be handled in accordance with the Act in order to avoid allegations of misuse.
Inevitably, some employees may view the use of company vehicle tracking systems as ‘corporate spying’ or an infringement of their civil liberties. As far as company vehicle tracking and the law is concerned, the use of such systems is perfectly legal as long as they are used transparently (i.e. with the employee’s knowledge) and with the employee’s consent.
Create a Company Policy Document
The best way for company fleet managers to ensure that they comply with legal requirements and that employees are reassured and comfortable with the use of company vehicle tracking systems is to draw up a comprehensive vehicle tracking company policy document, to include the following points.
- Explain in detail what a vehicle tracking system is and how it works
- The precise nature of the information that it provides
- The reason as to why the company has chosen to implement a company vehicle tracking system
- A list the benefits both to the company and to employees
It should be noted that under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 a company has a duty to ensure the safety and well-being of company vehicle drivers, and that in certain circumstances – such as road traffic accidents or vehicle theft – the data provided by company vehicle tracking systems can help comply with this legislation.
The policy document should also state the exact purposes for which collected data will be used and give details as to how that data is protected and who has access to it. Where necessary these details should reference the applicable sections of relevant legislation (for example, “In accordance with section X of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data we collect will only be used… etc.)
Finally, the policy should make it explicitly clear that the purpose of a company vehicle tracking system is to track and monitor the movements of a vehicle and NOT to observe or check up on the actions of the driver.
Should my company use Vehicle Tracking?
A fully utilised vehicle tracking system can bring significant rewards to your business. Fuel savings, time savings, and better handling of customer requests are just some of the many benefits of GPS tracking of your fleet. Complete the form to compare quotes and costs of vehicle tracking systems from a number of industry leaders to find the one that best matches your business needs.
* Please note Vehicle Tracking Experts is not run by lawyers or solicitors and can not provide legal advice. All information provide above is believed to be correct at the time of publication, but if you do have any legal concerns you are strongly advised to consult a legal representative.