SF Leads the Way with Potential Installation of Car Tracking for All City Vehicles
If you are someone who wants more government accountability, you will like this story about San Francisco’s plan to add GPS tracking devices to all 7,841 of the city’s vehicles. City Supervisor Norman Yee requested a report be compiled on the idea and heard by the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee. Currently, the city has the devices on 2,332 city vehicles.
It was after attending a Vision Zero conference in New York and seeing the success that other cities have had with GPS tracking that Yee began pushing for a similar plan for San Francisco. Vision Zero is a road safety project that is rapidly being adopted by more municipalities across the United States. The ultimate goal is zero traffic related fatalities. New York’s initiative includes a “black box” type device being mounted to taxi cabs. It would constantly monitor the driver’s speed and could disable the meter in response to unsafe driving.
San Francisco’s Plan
According to The San Francisco Examiner, the city has a plan in place to add an additional 776 vehicle telematics systems in city vehicles. These devices will augment the standard voice-reporting method of determining location used by dispatchers and police officers. Officials expect that one feature to improve emergency response times.
Savings to Tax Payers
The GPS devices will also monitor the driving behavior of city employees. This will go a long way toward eliminating unauthorized use of city vehicles. The telematics devices can send alerts when automobiles venture beyond established geo-fences or are used beyond approved work hours. Cost estimates are $1.3 million to equip the remaining 4,373 city vehicles and $1.8 million annually to maintain equipment and train personnel. School districts that have installed similar GPS devices on buses are seeing savings in fuel and overtime costs that far outweigh the expense of installation and upkeep of GPS devices.
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