Fleets that don't make red-light, speed, or school bus stop arm safety camera violations part of their drivers' safety profiles are running the risk of multi-million dollar liability costs, says Vincent Brigidi, president and chief operating officer of The CEI Group, Inc.
The number of road safety camera violations issued to fleet vehicles has soared over the last five years, according to American Traffic Solutions (ATS) Fleet Services.
The problem for fleets is that these types of tickets are issued to the owners of the vehicles — usually the fleet or its leasing company — and not to the drivers and rarely appear on drivers' Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs), said Brigidi. Since MVRs are one of the principle tools used to identify and intervene with high-risk drivers, fleets may be unaware of drivers who represent a liability if they're found responsible for a collision.
"Camera violations are still public record, and accessible to a plaintiff's attorney," said Brigidi. If a fleet driver has a history of multiple speeding, stop arm or red-light running violations by road safety cameras "and the fleet has never taken any steps to remediate the driver's behavior, it is exposed to the danger of being found guilty of negligent entrustment" and there have been many cases of multi-million dollar judgments and settlements, he noted.
Fleets typically pay road safety camera fines right away to avoid penalties and then attempt to identify and collect from the driver, but it's "a time-consuming process that is often unsuccessful," said Adam Draizin, president of ATS Fleet Services. As a result, high-risk drivers remain hidden from the fleet.
The solution is for fleets to adopt technology that matches traffic safety camera violations to the responsible drivers. CEI and ATS have jointly developed a solution, which is currently in beta testing. CEI expects to roll out the capability, currently in beta testing, later this year as an enhancement to its DriverCare Risk Manager application.
Brigidi and Draizin made the remarks in "Strategies to Manage Fleet Violations," an article that appeared in the December issue of Automotive Fleet magazine.