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What are GPS Jammers & Blockers? 

Fleet tracking devices can accurately locate your truck on the map because they use accurate time signals from the Global Positioning System or GPS satellites.

Like cell phone mapping apps, tracking devices can determine your speed, direction of travel and location based on calculating the distance to 4 GPS satellites.  The U.S. Department of Defense developed, operates and maintainss the system, which was originally created exclusively for the military. Civilians now use it widely everywhere for a variety of purposes like navigation, mapping, location and more. 

What exactly is a GPS blocker or jammer?

So, you may wonder – what exactly is a GPS blocker or jammer? It is basically a small device used to suppress your whereabouts from any tracking device that is checking your location and movements. The blocker sends out radio signals with the same frequency as a global positioning device. Hence, the tracker is unable to determine a vehicle’s position due to interference. 

The classic blocker could be easily plugged into a cigarette lighter or auxiliary power source in any vehicle. It sends an interference signal over a distance and is usually positioned in close proximity to the GPS device. Once the jammer is powered up, it will be working in seconds. These devices can come equipped with options that work with spy cameras and drones. However, it is important to know the law prohibits and penalizes their use.

The GPS Blocker and its Transmission of Data Interference

Once you switch on the blocker, the device starts disrupting the Global Positioning System signals within dozens of meters. It renders your smartphone’s map applications useless and stops any tracing devices that might have been secretly installed on your vehicle. 

It is crucial to know that blockers may prevent you from making 911 and other emergency calls. These jamming devices also interfere with the transmission of critical data used by many fleet companies. This vital data include fuel economy, engine health, driving habits, and general vehicle statistics. This information is fundamentally used to improve driver safety, vehicle’s efficiency and productivity. The details are also used to assist companies in staying compliant with federal regulations. Additionally, these jammers do interfere with air traffic signals.

Jammer users have been known to install the devices for ominous activities, and not just to go off the grid. Some people have purchased and used them to help hide illegal acts such as truck theft, and dodge essential duties while using a company-owned vehicle, as well as to avoid police radar detection and potentially expensive speeding tickets. 

The Impact of GPS Blockers on the Transportation Industry

For the transportation industry and law enforcement agencies, blockers are a major reason for concern due to the jamming inhibiting vehicle tracking. This is known as fleet tracking or telematics, which is a critical source of business data to major companies. Fleets use telematics to track and manage an array of items such as fuel use, truckers’ idling and driving behavior, engine health, and many other activities.

Are GPS Blockers and Jammers Illegal?

GPS Jammers are illegal in the United States. Every use of a GPS blocker could earn you a fine of up $16,000 or even prison time. The federal government enforces the use of radio communications like GPS through the FCC. Government agencies are explicit in warning against the risks caused by blocking cellular and Personal Communication Services (PCS), police radar, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

The main risk is that signal jamming devices can prevent you and others from making 9-1-1 and other emergency calls and pose serious risks to public safety communications.

“The use of a phone jammer, GPS blocker, or other signal jamming device designed to intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications is a violation of federal law. There are no exemptions for use within a business, classroom, residence, or vehicle. Local law enforcement agencies do not have independent authority to use jamming equipment; in certain limited exceptions use by Federal law enforcement agencies is authorized in accordance with applicable statutes.”

GPS jammers or blockers are not only illegal but also their use can be potentially hazardous. For instance, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined a New Jersey truck driver a hefty fine after his blocker interrupted air traffic control communication at Newark Liberty International Airport. The driver used the jammer in his work truck to conceal his location from his company. An Investigator found the equipment and showed it was actually the cause of the intrusion. The Communications Act of 1934 enforces these disrupting devices, and violators can face not only jail time but also considerable fines. 

Are you ready to learn more? Talk to a Fleet Advisor today.

Fleet Management Systems are Degraded by GPS Blockers

Fortunately, there are companies that have developed and produced tools to combat the unwanted interference of jammers, or at least minimize their effects with a comprehensive suite of fleet management tools. Business owners and managers can easily get a bird’s-eye view of their entire operation with interactive maps, breadcrumb trails and the ability to locate the nearest vehicles to a given point.

When it comes to the trucking industry and fleet management, businesses like GPS Trackit help industries locate their trucking assets in real-time. Their equipment can rapidly deliver location and the manner in which the cars or trucks are being used during operations or after hours. By using tools such as Geofences, you can monitor your fleet’s whereabouts and maintain control of locations set as off-limits.

Asset-tracking software offers consistent monitoring, reliable protection and rapid recovery of valuable assets. Whether it is managing a fleet of vehicles or heavy equipment at job sites, 24/7 services are crucial for success and peace of mind. 

If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.

Sources: 

https://www.gps.gov/spectrum/jamming/

https://www.theregister.com/2013/08/12/feds_arrest_rogue_trucker_after_gps_jamming_disrupts_newark_airport/

https://www.geotab.com/blog/combating-gps-jammers/

https://trackimo.com/combating-gps-jammers/

https://www.fcc.gov/general/jammer-enforcement

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_L._Easton

https://blog.novatel.com/what-are-gps-systems-used-for/

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