Fleet GPS devices are now being used by some Florida police departments to improve safety and curtail speeding in non-emergency situations.
The town of Plantation, near Fort Lauderdale, is equipping the voice warnings on the automatic vehicle locator devices previously installed on police cruisers. When excessive speeds are recorded, a voice will intone: "You are speeding."
The change followed a South Florida Sun Sentinel investigation which determined almost 800 law enforcement officers from a dozen South Florida agencies, including Plantation, were caught traveling anywhere from 90 mph to 130 mph over a 13-month period. Many were off-duty.
Given the safety capabilities and increasing affordability of fleet GPS tracking, it isn’t surprising the devices are being more widely deployed every day
But it may surprise some to see the devices are used on police cruisers. If there was a constituency to be trusted alone with a “company vehicle” at any hour of the day or night, it was the sworn law enforcement officer.
"This is something that had always been there but I didn't believe I'd have to use it," Police Chief Howard Harrison told the Sun Sentinel. (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/plantation/fl-plantation-speeding-cops-20120316,0,2381155.story)
The newspaper investigation attributed at least 320 crashes and 19 fatalities since 2004 to speeding officers.
Fleet safety managers know no driver is above administrative review, and no tool advances safety as much as GPS.