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Top Tips for Reducing Your Fine and Demerit Risk

24/07/2017 by Kate Walker in Telematics

Republished with approval from Fleetdynamics.

Driving a vehicle for work changes the whole dynamic of the act of driving. Rather than just being a means of getting to a location in order to have fun or start work, the driving itself is the most important thing. As a driver, you now have a professional responsibility to make sure that the cargo you are carrying arrives safely at its destination, within an agreed upon deadline. That means you have to take your driving much more seriously.

Getting a fine or a demerit for a traffic violation is embarrassing and inconvenient for drivers under normal circumstances. When it happens to a professional, however, it can have an impact on your career and even hurt your chances of successfully completing the current job.

That’s why it’s so important, with all the other work obligations to keep in mind, that professional drivers keep traffic violations to a minimum. GPS location technology can play an active role in doing this, and here are a few tips to get you started.

Use Traffic Updates

One of the best things about software that uses GPS tracking is that it can do more than just tell you your current location. Depending on the features available, some navigation software can even keep drivers apprised of current road conditions, so if an accident is holding up traffic along a critical route, drivers can easily divert to an alternate and not lose precious time getting caught in a jam that is no fault of their own.

Note Your Speed

One way that the police track speeding violations is through the use of devices like “radar guns,” and cameras installed on traffic corners to record violations. However, no one is perfect, and technology doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to, especially if it hasn’t been serviced in quite some time.

This is why some Australians are successfully protesting fines thanks to GPS data. Because quality GPS software is constantly tracking movement every few seconds, it gives a very accurate record of travel speed for a vehicle. Sometimes, a radar gun that hasn’t been calibrated recently—or even just incorrectly used at the time—can give false information about travelling speed from a single “snapshot.” Good GPS data can prove that a driver was following the speed limit, rather than trying to make up lost time by breaking the law and driving faster than designated speed limits.

Use Alerts

Another great feature of GPS-based location systems is the variety of applications that real-time data can be put to use for. For example, some software that uses GPS systems allows for contributions from the general population to keep others updated of “speed traps,” traffic cameras, and other areas flagged as “active” for traffic violations.

By using this software, professional drivers know when they need to be extra careful about ensuring they are obeying traffic laws since the chances of a fine or demerit in these more heavily supervised areas is much higher.

Manage it in-house

Using GPS tracking technology provides business owners or managers of large fleets access to all sorts of information about their drivers’ behaviour. Decent GPS tracking providers will also offer driver scoring, benchmarking specific driver behaviours against industry standards. This scoring system could easily form part of your vehicle use policy and be used alongside additional incentives for drivers who consistently do the right thing.

Of course, the best way to avoid any kind of traffic disciplinary action is to drive safely and alertly. Always obey traffic law, and always take your duties as a professional driver seriously. But GPS assistance can ensure that your chances of a safe, uneventful trip with a job well done at the destination are much higher.

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