Logistics software is often an effective safeguard for fleet managers who want to avoid the surprise expenditures associated with traffic violations. While business owners in a wide variety of private transportation-related industries are often subject to steep fines for running red lights, speeding or illegal parking, municipal fleets are also responsible for these rules and regulations as well.
Cities typically have a large number of vehicles out on the road on any given day. Trash collectors, salt trucks, snow plows and police cars all cover routine routes on highly trafficked streets. However, just because public agencies are in charge of managing and operating these fleets doesn't mean government employees are under any less obligation to follow the rules of the road. Without the right route optimization software, municipalities can quickly become buried under easily avoidable fines that lead to greater overhead costs in the long run.
Municipalities rack up traffic tickets
The problem is widespread for many large urban areas. According to a recent article from theChicago Tribune, drivers of publicly owned vehicles ran more than 11,500 red lights in the past seven years. Among those responsible for the traffic violations are garbage trucks, city buses and unmarked police cars. Chicago charges $100 for running red lights. In most cases, the offending drivers were tracked down and forced to pay over the course of the seven years for which theTribune examined data. The Times-Picayune, a newspaper published in New Orleans, said that in September 2011, 400 city-owned vehicles had registered a total of $547,800 in fines related to minor traffic infringements.
Municipal fleets are held to the same standards as anyone else in these circumstances. This is because following traffic rules corresponds directly to greater safety for everyone who gets around on city streets or sidewalks. The transportation industry publication Fleet Owner cited data compiled by the American Transportation Research Institute that found the collective effect of unsafe driving behavior increases the chances for a collision by more than 50 percent.
The managers of city fleets can avoid unnecessary overhead costs by investing in technology such as route optimization software. When employees are able to plan their routine driving paths more effectively, they may ultimately feel less of an urge to rush, thereby increasing the chances for running a red light or getting caught speeding. As a result, municipalities can devote a larger portion of their resources to more important issues.