New Geotab technology focuses on personalized driver coaching to improve fleet safety

Several VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP) members currently participating in the Where the Rubber Meets the Road (WTRMTR) campaign are now also taking part in a new pilot program involving GPS telematics devices.

VML is committed to providing members with effective safety tools that promote and reinforce the safe, responsible operation of municipal vehicles.  Safe driving habits help to reduce risk to drivers, municipal property, and the citizens we serve, and exhibit a courteous, professional image of all municipal workers. To help achieve these goals, VMLIP has partnered with Geotab and GPS Outfitters to provide a real-time telematics program to help identify risky driving habits and the tools to improve them across the fleet.

Geotab GPS telematics devices are designed to provide monitoring of fleet location, movements, status, and driving behavior through a combination of a GPS receiver and accelerometer.

Geotab telematics

The primary purpose of the program is to identify risky driving and provide a measurable means to improve it. If employees are driving your municipal vehicles in a safe and responsible manner, according to entity policies, there is no reason to worry.

In VMLIP’s pilot program, the devices will be used to track rapid accelerations, harsh braking, hard cornering, speeds in excess of posted speed limits and speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour.

“Our hope with this program is to take driver coaching provided through the WTRMTR campaign further – into the vehicle – to help drivers become more cognizant of driving behaviors that are indicators of potential crashes,” said Beth Rosenthal, director of safety services with VMLIP.

VMLIP has provided 158 Geotab devices among four WTRMTR participants for the pilot program, which will last until next fall.

“Ultimately if we can avoid one serious crash, the program has more than paid for itself,” said Rosenthal. “It’s an upfront commitment to help encourage defensive driving behaviors and establish good driving habits for the long term.”

The devices were funded through ACE, VMLIP’s liability reinsurer who has also supported the WTRMTR campaign and has an established record of supporting risk management initiatives.

“We are hopeful the program will prove to be an onboard coaching system that provides reinforcement for drivers to continue to drive responsibility and defensively,” said Beth.

The Town of Dumfries was the first to receive Geotab devices, followed by the City of Harrisonburg, Loudon Water and York County. These members were chosen due to their pro-active approach to risk management and commitment to the WTRMTR campaign. They also represent a cross-section of entity types – town, city, authority, and county.

“This program provides greater insight of how we are driving and ways in which we can cultivate and maintain a culture of safer driving habits,” said Andre Banks, director of special projects and grant management for the City of Harrisonburg.

“This program will also allow city staff the technology to monitor the city’s fleet of vehicles and determine how they can operate better and more efficiently.”

The City of Harrisonburg installed devices in a cross-section of city vehicle types throughout several departments.

“It is also important that the city is able to assist VML Insurance Programs through this pilot program to better meet the needs of cities, town and counties across the Commonwealth,” said Banks.

The pilot program is another example of how VML Insurance Programs is Virginia’s local government specialists. VMLIP understands the unique exposures that local governments have and what is needed from an insurance and risk management partner. Programs such as this are developed to help members stay apprised of the latest in safety and risk management techniques and best practices to ensure members can create better communities in which to live, work and learn.

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800.  For more information on VMLIP visit: or follow us on Facebook.

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