News Article

Bill Would Put GPS Devices In NJ State Vehicles

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. October 7, 2013

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A bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature would create a pilot program to track some of the nearly nine thousand state-owned vehicles.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Senator Jeff Van Drew and Republican Assemblywoman Amy Handlin calls for GPS devices to be put in some of the cars.

Handlin says that could help determine whether those vehicles are being used properly.

 “We are always hearing allegations by citizens and by good government groups that they’ve seen state vehicles in inappropriate places like at the mall, at the beach, riding around Pennsylvania.”

Hetty Rosenstein is state director of the Communications Workers of America, the largest state workers union. She says there’s no evidence of widespread abuse of state vehicles and there are valid reasons why some state cars are parked at businesses.

“A DYFS worker could easily be at a mall or at a strip mall or someplace like that because they’re in fact bringing a child there or arranging for a visit. An unemployment investigator could be at a local business.”

Senator Jeff Van Drew says he believes most state workers are using the vehicles appropriately.

“For folks that are doing their job right, this isn’t going to bother them at all, and they’re not going to be worried about it. Someone who would misuse a state vehicle on the other hand is going to be concerned and hopefully more careful.”

Assemblywoman Handlin says the GPS devices could also help the state better manage its vehicle fleet to improve efficiency.

 “Gas is very, very expensive, and the software that goes along with these GPS trackers enables managers to see when a vehicle is speeding, when a vehicle is idling, when a vehicle is taking a longer route.’

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