RoSPA Scotland launch black-box pilot to monitor young business drivers
The project, funded by the Scottish Government, aims to monitor and improve the driving behaviour and standards of young people who drive for work. It will run until July 2013 and there is no charge to organisations to participate.
Research has shown that this type of technology can significantly reduce crash rates, levels of risky driving behaviours and fuel and accident costs. For organisations who participate in the project, RoSPA’s partner MyDrive Solutions will supply and install a black box in cars or small vans driven for work by 17 to 25 year old drivers. The installation will be carried out by a professional at the driver’s house or place of work. The box is fitted underneath the dashboard and there should be no impact on the vehicle’s warranty.
The aim of the pilot is to identify how employers in Scotland can best make use of black boxes to help keep their staff and other road users safe. Not only will this help the employer meet part of their responsibility to manage occupational road risk, but it will also improve the efficiency of the business by reducing accidents, fuel and other costs. This is the first research of its kind in Scotland and the results will be used to promote the benefits of the technology and will act as a drive to encourage other employers to adopt it.
The black box records second-by-second driver analysis data and sends it to MyDrive automatically at the end of every journey. It provides a detailed profile of each individual driver’s driving style, habits and capability, thus allowing the risk to be assessed accurately. A web portal will also be set up so an employer and its drivers can view the results and access further advice.
The MyDrive telematics system scores each driver according to their level of aggression, smoothness, anticipation, consistency and pace. It takes this information and, using a detailed digital map of the road network that monitors road curvature, lane markings and speed limits, places it in the context of the actual roads someone is using, thereby creating highly accurate driver profiles.
Following the pilot, RoSPA will publish a report to show how the black box technology has helped to identify real-life driving habits of at-work drivers, as well as a best practice guide for employers on the use of the technology.
Kathleen Braidwood, road safety officer, RoSPA Scotland, said: 'By monitoring driving every second, we can develop a detailed picture of the real-life driving habits of young at-work drivers. This black box technology then allows the risk to be assessed very easily and accurately.
'Many companies are starting to use black boxes to monitor the at-work driving of their staff, and insurance companies are also increasingly using the technology to monitor how, when and where the young drivers who they insure are driving. They do this in order to provide feedback to the drivers and in some cases adjust insurance premiums to act as an incentive to discourage risk taking behaviours and improve driving skills.
'Information gathered from this technology can not only help to motivate drivers and encourage better driving, but also to improve the reputation of the company and help reduce costs. This pioneering research will contribute to the commitment within Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 and supports the recommendations within the National Young Driver Debate,' she added.
Richard Jelbert, product director, MyDrive Solutions, said: 'We are very proud to be supporting RoSPA in this important pilot because, for the first time, multiple techniques will be tested objectively to find the very best ways to encourage young drivers to drive more responsibly, all based on telematics driver feedback. Through our partnership with RoSPA we can demonstrate that our safer driving standard is not just based on our opinion as a business, but on the opinion of the most highly regarded advanced driving institution in the UK.'
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: 'I am delighted that Transport Scotland is able to support and be associated with this innovative project as we recognise that telematics technology could have a role to play in saving lives on our roads.
'The National Young Driver Debate (March 2011) highlighted the potential for speed limiting technology and black box data recorders to improve the safety of young drivers, and all those who drive as part of their jobs, so I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot project,' he added.