How public works fleets use telematics to resolve liability claims

Published on June 23, 2021

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Public works departments are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the communities where we live. From snow clearing in the winter to street sweeping in the spring, public works groups rely on their vehicle fleets to provide service. Because of the nature of the business, public works employees sometimes face difficult questions and legal issues from residents. These concerns can range from minor claims like speeding or property damage to major incidents such as a collision. That’s why public works clients armed with the Geotab fleet management solution can leverage the power of telematics to work through these challenging situations.

Lower liability risks with “Trip History” data

Public works teams often field calls and emails from concerned residents about the activities of government vehicles. These concerns can range from the location of a public works vehicle: “The garbage truck didn’t come by my house today” or “When is the snowplow coming to clear my street?” to minor incidents like “Your truck was speeding” or “The street sweeper damaged my mailbox.” As you can imagine, local 311 contact centers can be peppered with liability-related calls. Using MyGeotab, public works employees can quickly investigate the situation using real data to resolve these types of claims.

Using out-of-the-box Geotab features, public works staff can use the “Trip History” function to confirm vehicle details such as location, speed, and routes traveled. The “Trip History” feature allows clients to easily collect detailed information about the vehicle including its movement status (driving, idling, or stopped), posted road speed, and the exact location/time of each fleet vehicle on the map. With the help of MyGeotab, public works departments can respond to resident concerns knowing all the facts.

Use “Area Activity” to zoom in on vehicle location

Geotab recently introduced the “Area Activity” search tool allowing users to zoom in on a desired area of the map. By inputting a specified date range, MyGeotab can identify every vehicle that traveled in that area. This is a powerful tool to quickly find the public works vehicles that were in the area at the time of the customer’s inquiry.

Area Activity GIF

Investigate serious incidents with “Log Data”

In more serious situations that involve a collision or fatality, Geotab can deliver rich “Log Data,” which shows recorded data of a particular vehicle during a specific timeframe. Geotab’s patented curve-based algorithm allows the GO device to keep the most important data points. This logic keeps the most detailed telematics data with the least amount of data overhead. Combined with the “Trip History” feature, public works departments can complete rigorous accident investigations with confidence.

Managing liability issues and claims is not pleasant for anyone. But having the necessary information helps public works groups resolve residential inquiries, disputes and improve the overall level of service. The Geotab GO device ensures accident investigations are fact-based – telling the real story of what happened.

If you want to learn more about the Geotab Public Works telematics solution, contact Northern BI today!


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Brian Mackintosh

VP Operations


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