Traffic light telematics follow-up

  • Parker's readers say system is 'Big brother gone mad'
  • Response from telematics company and fleet manager
  • System can be turned off for private mileage

Company cars drivers say the introduction of new technology that will monitor their driving is ‘Big Brother gone mad', in a poll conducted by Parker's.

The survey revealed there's little enthusiasm for the Trimble telematic system, with 61% of respondents saying they did not want the system in their car, 7% saying it didn't bother them, while 28% said they would welcome the system because they felt it would help to improve driving standards.

A Trimble spokesman was bullish, though: "Everyone thinks they are a good driver and the majority of people probably are, but we get in to bad habits that can be dangerous if not corrected.

"With one out of every two accidents occurring when someone is driving a vehicle for work, it is imperative that we address road safety and that companies who are asking their employees who drive for work to take responsibility."

The Trimble system is being considered by a number of fleet managers and if it is successful the telematics manufacturer is hoping it will become the norm for company car drivers.

Damien James, fleet manager at Bracknell Forest Council, said: "I'll have look into the system further, but I certainly applaud the idea behind it. As a fleet manager I'd like to see my vehicles being driven correctly at all times.

"I think it has its uses for van fleets, but there may be an issue for fleets where the vehicles are used for private mileage too."

The system can be turned off by the driver. When people have finished work but still want to use their work vehicle, they can put it on privacy mode which means that no information about the vehicle or its location is then reported.

In cases where people need to provide private and business mileage for tax purposes, the system will still record mileage but nothing more.