A Short Guide To Vehicle Tracking Laws
If your business has a fleet of vehicles, you may be wondering about tracking it. There are multiple benefits to installing vehicle tracking systems; they can provide evidence to protect you against complaints and work out the most efficient delivery routes. There’s also a certain reassurance in knowing where your vehicles are. Vehicle tracking is a must-have if you handle deliveries or run a taxi company.
As you might expect though, there are rules and regulations regarding vehicle tracking. As an employer, you are duty-bound to understand your obligations. If you don’t, you’ll risk fines and legal troubles. Because GPS trackers collect data on a vehicle’s location and travelling speed, the government has established several vehicle tracking laws to protect employees and prevent data misuse. You’ll want to analyse your data and get the most out of your fleet, so here’s what you need to know about vehicle tracking and the law.
Vehicle Tracker Law In The UK
If you take only one thing from this article, it should be this; you can only use the data from GPS devices for management purposes of your company. You must not use the information to observe the behaviour of your employees.
For example, let’s imagine you run a package delivery service and have thirty vehicles. Assessing the collected data from your fleet to identify the most efficient delivery routes or best times of day to avoid congestion is perfectly acceptable, but using it as evidence to reprimand an employee for making fewer deliveries is not.
You must also ensure that the staff know about the tracking devices and agree to their use. Hiding a device without the driver’s consent and knowledge is illegal, so don’t even think about it. Hidden devices can only be used as protection against theft.
Furthermore, you can’t use any vehicle tracking data recorded outside of working hours. If your employees are permitted to use company cars for private purposes during their spare time, you are not entitled to the data about their driving. It doesn’t matter if you suspect an employee of speeding in a company car on their days off; the tracker must be switched off.
Lastly, GPS-jamming devices are strictly forbidden. Anything that can compromise the data, whether by damaging, replacing or abusing it, is restricted. You have to ensure that your devices are safe and in good working order and must protect the data. You might use your trackers legally and ethically, but if you don’t safeguard the data, you put yourself at risk.
How To Avoid Fines And Prosecutions
Vehicle tracking laws are based primarily on the Data Protection Act and The Human Rights Act. The former covers handling personal data, while the latter addresses the right to privacy and the confidentiality of personal information. These acts ensure that employees are treated lawfully, and breaching them can have serious consequences.
The difficulties arise when you start wandering into grey areas. The line between personal and business-related data isn’t always clear, so what can you do to avoid potential problems?
You can avoid most issues with clear communication. If you’re changing the company policy on vehicle tracking, upgrading your devices or making any other alteration, let your employees know first. Ensure they’re adequately trained in using the trackers and what they are and aren’t allowed to do with them. Make sure they know where the device is located as well.
That aside, educate yourself. It’s worth checking that you’re fully up to speed with UK laws every few months. If you notice any changes that directly impact your business, don’t ignore them; putting your fingers in your ears and pleading ignorance is no defence against a fine.
The Advantages Of Vehicle Tracking
If all of this makes vehicle tracking sound like an unnecessary headache, don’t be put off. Here at Business Quotes, we firmly believe that GPS tracking can be a huge benefit, provided you use it appropriately. Your employees will pay closer attention to their driving standards, which means less speeding and improved fuel efficiency. Certain insurance companies offer reduced premiums for fleets with vehicle trackers, and they can protect you against false claims too. Plus, if any of your drivers get into trouble, you’ll know exactly where they are and be able to send help quicker.
It’s well worth taking some time to examine which vehicle tracking systems can improve the performance of your fleet, and Business Quotes can help you choose the right one. Click on the banner below and see what we can do.