Not only does GPS fleet tracking allow you to keep tabs on drivers, but they are also great money-saving devices because you can adjust for the most economical routes, using far less fuel as a result. Of course, setting up GPS tracking for your fleet of vehicles does carry with it certain legalities that must be observed to ensure you are operating on the right side of the law.
The bottom line is that the use of a surveillance device to intentionally track and record employee activity is a criminal offence, unless the operator of the system has the consent of all of the parties to the activity.
Here is a quick look into legislation, and potential legal ramifications for fleet tracking throughout Australia.
In Western Australia, The Surveillance Devices Act from 1998 helps to regulate the use of a range of different surveillance devices, including tracking devices. The legislation describes a tracking device as “any instrument, apparatus, equipment, or other device capable of being used to determine the geographical location of a person or object.”
The use of GPS tracking devices in Western Australia isn’t prohibited, but it is prohibited to install or attach a device to determine someone’s geographical location without their consent. It’s also prohibited to use a GPS device to determine the geographical location of an object if the person in control of the object (your vehicle) is unaware you have installed the device.
For a business, the maximum penalty for committing this offence is a $50,000 fine. Naturally, having all of your drivers sign waivers that show they are aware a GPS system is in effect should negate any negative consequences from keeping track of your fleet.
New South Wales operates under the Workplace Surveillance Act. The use of GPS tracking for workplace vehicles must come with written notice to the employees that will be driving the vehicles. This notice must be given no less than 14 days before GPS tracking will commence.
Each employee operating a vehicle that will be tracked must be made aware what type of surveillance is being carried out, how it will be carried out, when it will begin, and if it will be ongoing or for a set period of time. Vehicles that are being tracked by GPS in NSW must also display a notice on the vehicle, stating it is under GPS surveillance.
Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have similar definitions and descriptions to NSW for GPS tracking legislation.
The Surveillance Devices Act of 1999 sets the rules for Victoria. The legislation points out that it is illegal to knowingly install, use or maintain a tracking device to try and locate a person without their consent, or an object without the consent of the person in lawful possession of the object.
In Victoria, giving consent can be express, or it can be implied. Express consent refers to being asked the question directly and accepting, and implied means information about tracking you or an object you posses was part of a contract or other document you’ve signed.
In South Australia legislation, there is a definition for tracking devices, but there is no language prohibiting or regulating their use commercially or privately.
In Queensland, there is no regulation or prohibition for tracking devices.
In Tasmania, there is no regulation or prohibition for tracking devices.
If you manage a fleet of vehicles that travels between different states, take the time to ensure you are in compliance with the laws of each state. With such stiff penalties in states like Western Australia, making the extra effort is well worth it. If you’d like to discuss GPS tracking or would like more information about the legislation in your area, contact Fleetdynamics today.