Be prepared for new traffic laws in 2014

Transportation management software will be a useful tool for small, locally based fleets that may suddenly find themselves responsible for following a number of new traffic laws in 2014. 

According to Fox News, Jan. 1 is more than a national holiday celebrating the start of a new calendar. For most states, it also marks the official start of new legislation. Based on the large number of traffic-related rules that went into effect on this date across the nation, fleet owners that spend a significant amount of time on local highways and streets may want to consider investing in automated technology such as logistics software that will make it easier for drivers to avoid many unnecessary traffic violations.

Here is a brief rundown of major legislative changes around the country:

New speed limits and less wiggle room
Fox News reported Illinois has now increased the speed limit on many major highways from 65 mph to 70 mph. While this may largely come as positive news for organizations that depend the ability to make local deliveries at a relatively fast pace, fleet owners must now be especially careful to prevent their drivers from speeding. In fact, the state has simultaneously reduced the margin at which individuals can be pulled over for going too fast from 31 mph to 26 mph above the speed limit. Small businesses can use direct route software to maximize efficiency on the road and reduce the need to put drivers in situations where they feel as though they need to drive fast in order to meet scheduled deadlines.

More stringent rules on distractions
Data compiled recently by Consumer Reports found driver interruptions such as texting or talking on cell phones resulted in more than 3,000 traffic-related deaths in 2011. Many states have taken this issue seriously and will introduce new rules prohibiting the use of hand-held devices on the road. For example, Fox News said California has updated its previously existing distracted driving to bar individuals under 18 from using voice-activated texting technology or other hands-free devices while operating a vehicle. Vermont has also enacted legislation that prohibits cell phones while driving through work zones. Illinois will also become the 12th state to institute a complete ban on cell phone use for drivers.

The changing regulatory environment can increase the risk of incurring large overhead costs for small fleet businesses that are unaware of these new legal developments. However, logistics software offers these firms the high level of organization necessary to operate at full efficiency while obeying the rules of the road.