Driver tracking device reduces carbon footprint and improves road safety

A leading construction and engineering firm has reduced its carbon emissions by 22 per cent while road traffic accidents among its drivers has decreased by 35 per cent.

J. Murphy & Sons Limited (Murphy) has done this through the innovative use of a tracking device, which is fitted to its commercial vehicle fleet and monitors all aspects of driver performance. This includes speed, idling time, distance and location to optimise journey routes.

John Coll, director of procurement, plant and transport, said:

“At Murphy, we realise the value of getting our drivers to better understand the consequences of their actions – whether that’s the amount of fuel and carbon that can be used up by idling in traffic or looking at ways to improve their driving. The awareness scheme has certainly helped improve the way people think and act, and has helped Murphy push at cutting our carbon and costs as much as possible.”

In 2009 Murphy set a target to achieve a 10% reduction in carbon emissions across its UK business by the end of 2014. The company achieved a 22% reduction following a variety of initiatives many of which focused on fuel and electricity emissions. These included fitting 1,900 commercial vehicles with trackers to monitor driver performance and ensure no vehicle could travel over 70mph, investing in electric and hybrid vehicles, and running driver awareness campaigns to encourage energy-efficient driving.

As part of its driver awareness campaign, and in line with its ‘Never Harm’ culture programme, Murphy used information from the vehicle tracking technology to engage with drivers. They held workshops to discuss the choices they made when driving – both good and bad – and the scheme recorded a number of positive changes in the drivers’ behaviour.

For example, following the campaign, 53 drivers who had exhibited poor choices and negative driver behaviour previously, have a zero reoffending rate to this day. Latest figures show there has also been a 35% decrease in road traffic accidents per million pound turnover since 2012 and there has also been a significant reduction in the severity of accidents.

The driver monitoring programme has demonstrated that safer, slower drivers also use less fuel and Murphy is now trialling engine management fuel saving devices in several of its vehicles.