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UK Vehicle Tracking Laws

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Fleet vehicle tracking has a number of benefits to both employers and employees. Vehicle tracking can improve fleet efficiency, reduce costs and help keep employees and assets, safe. But it is often misunderstood what the laws are surrounding vehicle tracking.

Whether you are planning to use vehicle tracking or are already using vehicle tracking systems, there are a few rules and regulations that apply to you, that you must comply with under the law. If you fail to comply with these rules and regulations, it can lead to fines and convictions, so it is important to have the best understanding you can, of UK vehicle tracking laws.

At Fleetsmart we’ve put together a simple and easy list of rules that relate to vehicle tracking, along with some tips that’ll keep you, and your vehicles, on the right tracks.

Which Laws Affect Vehicle Tracking

The general rule for fleet tracking is that tracking any vehicle at any time is legal, so long as the person driving knows they are being tracked. However, this rule is a little vague and doesn’t include some of the most important information to remember when you’re vehicle tracking.

Most of the laws that affect vehicle tracking involve the privacy and protection of an employee and their personal data. There are the two pieces of legislation that affect vehicle tracking, The Human Rights Act 1998, and The Data Protection Act 1998.

The Human Rights Act 1998

Article 8 of the Act says that everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, and their home etc. This is particularly important when considering vehicle tracking and your employees. For instance, if you are tracking a company vehicle that is used outside of working hours, you must have a privacy button in place where a driver can switch off vehicle tracking, outside their working hours. This helps to protect their privacy and helps make sure that your vehicle tracking device is only in place to track the vehicle, for business purposes, and not the individual, for any other purpose.

The Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998, is in place to protect all data held by employers and to stipulate that employees have a right to know what information is being held about them. The Act states that personal data should be:

  1. Processed fairly and lawfully
  2. Obtained only for specified and lawful reasons
  3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  4. Accurate and up to date
  5. Kept no longer that necessary, to fulfil it’s purpose
  6. Processed along the lines of the individual’s human rights
  7. Protected against unauthorised or unlawful use, loss or destruction
  8. Kept within the European economic area

The rules become complicated here, as it is difficult to know what information gathered by a vehicle tracking device, counts as business and what counts as personal. The main questions to ask yourself are; is this personal data, am I using it lawfully and do I have permission?

More Rules to Consider When Fleet Vehicle Tracking

After going over the laws that affect vehicle tracking, there are some other factors for consideration, to make sure you are complying with the law. One important point, is that you should only be tracking a vehicle for reasons that relate to the running of the business and not employee behaviour. Tracking an individual, rather than the vehicle means you are in breach of the law.

Some employers may wish to hide a tracking device in their vehicles, this is sometimes known as covert tracking. The majority of the time, this is just used to prevent theft or to protect the company’s reputation. This is perfectly legal, so long as the driver is aware that the tracking device is there.

It is also important to remember that any form of GPS jamming is most certainly illegal, and you cannot tamper with the data collected by your vehicle tracking device, under the law.

Tips to Help You On Your Way

Fleetsmart believes there are so many benefits that come with fleet tracking that we wish to help our customers make sure they are compliant with the law, when they choose to use fleet tracking with us. So here is our little list of tips and hints to help get you on your way to fleet vehicle tracking!

  • Make sure your employees are aware of what information is being monitored, for what purpose and when. Make them aware of any changes and get permission in writing if you can. Some employers choose to include this information in the employee contract, or an official document, so everyone, always, has access to the information.
  • Only track business vehicles that are owned by the company. Know your rights to track your vehicles and assets.
  • Safeguard all the data you receive from your vehicle tracking system. You should be putting all measures in place to make sure your data is kept lawfully.
  • We often recommend that you seek legal advice on any issues that may arise, or before installing your vehicle tracking system.

Rules and regulations on fleet vehicle tracking can be difficult to get your head around at first, but being aware of the rules and what you can and can’t do is a great start.

The benefits far outweigh any issues that arise from UK Law and once you understand the rules, fleet vehicle tracking can help your business to grow and thrive.