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Telematics Overview: Why 2017 Is The Year to Monitor Your Fleet's Foot-to-pedal Culture

Article by: Telematics Expert: Chris McClellan, CEO, RAM Tracking

“2017 is officially the year to slow down your fleet”.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had more business fleet owners than ever ask advice about how RAM’s vehicle tracking technology can help minimise speeding fines and other speeding implications for fleet teams. The reason? Well, from April 24th, new government guidelines means speeding just got even more costly. Now split into three bands, Band C, B and A – hasty drivers’ will have to dig deep if their speed is deemed unreasonable – with costs escalating to a maximum of 150% of a drivers’ weekly wage for the most serious Band C offence.

We’re all aware of the devastating effects speeding can have, and anyone who breaks the limit excessively is unnecessarily putting lives at risk. According to government statistical data, in 2014 exceeding the speed limit was a contributing factor to 16.5% of fatal accidents. The Sentencing Council said the new regulations aim to ensure there is a ‘clear increase in penalty as the seriousness of offending increases’, following responses to a consultation arguing previous guidelines did not properly take into account the increase in potential harm that can result as speed above the limit rises.

Want some perspective on the potential cost of speeding post April 24th? Well, based on F1 driver Lewis Hamilton’s predicted salary of £100 million per year – the racing driver would be facing a fine of almost £2.8million if were caught with his pedal to the metal going over 51mph in a 30mph zone (a Band C offence). Not quite on Lewis’s pay scale? A slightly more realistic figure is that based on earnings of £25,000 a year, a speeding fine equivalent to 150% of your weekly income means handing over a minimum of £720, with fines likely to be capped at around £2,500 regardless of earnings – still no small amount.

In the most recent government report, fatal accidents on major roads (motorways and A roads) increased by 3% to 1,050 in the year ending September 2016. Fatal accidents on minor roads (B, C and unclassed roads) increased by 2% to 650 over the same period. There was a 3% increase in fatal accidents on roads with a speed limit of up to and including 40mph (built-up roads) to 780 and a 5% increase in fatal or serious accidents to 15,340 over the same period. As a fleet owner, you may or may not be directly responsible for paying individual’s speeding fines, but if you are, it’s worth noting one RAM customer reported a 51% decrease in speeding tickets after applying RAM Tracking’s speeding league technology. However, it’s important to note that it’s not all about payment of the fine, speeding has a huge impact on every business, there will be a rise in points, insurance premiums disqualified drivers, which will influence business cashflow and hefty recruitment costs.

Therefore plenty more reasons to start actively monitoring your fleet’s speed using a vehicle tracking software – including the fact that if you can’t prove who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, then you, the owner will be held to account, as this article explains.

Quick tip for businesses: When purchasing a vehicle tracking system you need to make ensure it records accurate speeding information as well as the ability to generate a speeding league. Not all systems have this in place. RAM Tracking has been specifically designed to drive down speeding across your fleet.

Speeding. Why vehicle tracking is a good idea and the implications on fleet owners

The call of duty

Perhaps the most important reason for monitoring driver style through tracking is peace of mind that you are doing what you can to keep your drivers safe and their speeds down. 

Logistical implications: The ban

If your job involves driving the new speeding laws make it more risky for drivers’ to speed as the penalties are much stronger and sentencing may well be harder on those who drive for a profession. If you run a fleet of vehicles then its time to start thinking about the implications speeding could have logistically on your business. How would it affect you if your top salesman, most experienced engineer, contracts manager, or even yourself got banned?

Legal implications. Corporate manslaughter, are you sufficiently covered?

If your business employs drivers, or has employees who regularly drive as part of their job then you have serious corporate responsibilities. Have your drivers been assessed or received any training?  Have you shown a duty of care towards them and ensured there hasn’t been negligence on the company’s part? Vehicle tracking allows you to monitor an individual’s speed, their efficiency and much more. Having it in place almost certainly shows you’re taking responsible driving seriously – and you’ll be able to identify the most common offenders and either pull them up or even set a speed limiter. Without this tracking, you have no idea whether your drivers are conducting themselves safely or driving like a modern-day Ayrton Senna on the roads. Want more information? You can read about speeding and its legal implications from a lawyer’s perspective, here.

Cost implications: Fuel Costs

It stands to reason that those driving steadily will use less fuel. Regardless of your fleet size, RAM Tracking statistics show that fuel costs dropped across customers once the tracking was in place. A real no-brainer for companies with fleets.

Wear and Tear

Every fleet manager knows that wear and tear is hard to avoid when running a number of vehicles. Aggressive driving, speeding and harsh braking are all common factors of wear and tear. Putting a tracking device in place to ensure driver style is good, and they stay within law-abiding speed significantly reduces this.

Reputation implications

It could be said that your reputation matters even more than what you produce. Customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a company with a good reputation; ultimately making a decision based on their perception of a company instead of what the company provides. It’s common to see ‘How’s my Driving’ stickers, but vehicle tracking ensures your drivers act responsibly from the off, avoiding complaints. Don’t underestimate how much driving habits can affect the publics’ opinion of you. A speeding, erratic, branded car, van or HGV could be losing you more customers than you know

Insurance implications

You can read our article on the implications of speeding and insurance here, but in short, managing how your fleet is driven and having proof of where they were when a false claim comes in all are ways to reduce risk and mitigate claims that lead to increased premiums. Vehicle tracking means you are able to monitor driver style (speed), and is seen as a positive step by fleet owners by insurance underwriters – it plays a part in insurance premiums and excess. It’s worth adding that in 2015, comparison website Money Supermarket ran a test on 1.2ltr Vauxhall Corsa and added one SP40 conviction to the quote (that’s exceeding the speed limit). The results showed that for a forty year old there could be an increase from £498.86 to £582.37 and a fifty year old could expect costs to rise from £397.29 to £589.42. This uplift for points could go on for more than simply the three years for the DVLA, often insurance underwriters go back up to five years. So those three points could cost that 40 year old five times whatever the initial increase was. Add to that the fine (which can cost someone on £25,000 up to £2,500) and it’s no small amount!

 Make 2017 the year you slow your fleet, or expect the implications to be huge.”

Comment from Chris McClellan of RAM Tracking  

For further information, images or comment please contact Daniel Bell at RAM Tracking on 0330 100 3622.

 

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