Vehicle monitoring will be one of the key issues for fleet managers and operators in 2013, according to Stoke-on-Trent based Motiva Group.

The fleet solutions business made the comments as the next generation of its Motrak fleet monitoring system nears completion.

Paul Holdcroft, head of fleet monitoring at Motiva, believes legislation and economic constraints will see tracking become the norm for fleets of all sizes and types.

Mr Holdcroft said: “Old-fashioned concerns about monitoring systems being a ‘spy in the cab’ have largely been overtaken by employee acceptance, regulation and rising fuel costs.

“The factors driving demand for telematics will become even more pressing in 2013, and that trend will continue in the long term.

“Research shows that most drivers wouldn’t object to monitoring technology being fitted to their vehicles. That paves the way for financial savings, emissions savings, improved customer service and better risk management.”

Onboard technology allows managers to know the exact location of every vehicle in real time. They provide in-depth vehicle and driver information, and time sheets and attendance can be verified with absolute certainty.

Automated reporting takes away a significant chunk of the administrative burden, while vehicle utilisation is also improved.

Telematics technology can be used to monitor employees’ driving behaviour, including their speed, the distance travelled and unsafe manoeuvres such as harsh braking and acceleration or swerving.

Employers can use that information to build a profile of individual drivers and devise training courses accordingly.

As well as encouraging safer driving, those courses can also show employees how to reduce vehicle wear and tear and maximise fuel efficiency.

Mr Holdcroft said: “Vehicle monitoring is the springboard for better driver behaviour, decreased mileage claims, reduced insurance premiums and a significant reduction in fuel costs.

“It’s also a useful part of the marketing mix to be able to show customers that you are bringing down your emissions.

“Not only that, it contributes to much more robust risk management procedures and shows employees and the authorities that you take your duty of care seriously.”

Last month Motiva joined forces with TR Fleet to offer DriveSecure – a risk management programme that includes driving licence checking, risk profiling, tailored driver training and stress management.

Peter Davenport, chief executive at Motiva, said: “The vast majority of employers take their duty of care very seriously, and legislation like the Corporate Manslaughter act certainly helps focus the minds of senior managers.

“Fleet monitoring goes a long way to fulfilling that duty of care, and combining it with a specialist risk management system like DriveSecure shows staff that their safety is a real priority.”