Technology spotlight: PortNexus Corporation is a distracted driving and risk management platform operated through mobile devices and GPS services that track driver performance.

The flagship of the PortNexus product line is PLEDGE, which enables a company to remotely enforce its mobile device policy in real-time and to identify employees who are putting themselves, others and the pest control company at risk. Marketed by wireless carriers and hardware manufactures, PLEDGE integrates into Android or Apple mobile platforms and reports violations to a central system for forensic accident investigation and driver behavior management.

Once an application is downloaded and installed, the fleet manager can configure the phone to perform like common Onboard Diagnostic (OBD) devices that sent alerts on speeds above posted limits, hard breaking, and operating outside set zones (geo-fencing) and days/hours. PLEDGE also controls cell phone performance by deactivating phone keyboards, thereby preventing incoming and outgoing calls and texts, a major source of distracted driving. Incoming calls and texts are redirected to voicemails/response texts or to a live person, depending on company preference. Settings can allow features such as map functions to enabled.

A docking cradle can compel compliance with a chime until the phone is secured. The phone camera can function as dash and cab camera, taking front view and driver photos during hard breaking and speeding instances photos. Fleet managers also have on-demand camera access for random driver performance checks.  If location services are turned off or the application is uninstalled, the fleet manager will get a notification.

Companies can use PLEDGE to manage their own vehicle use documents, and store electronic signatures of documents acknowledging their driving policies, creating a backup for HR action if disciplinary action or even termination is warranted by poor driving behaviors.

Port Nexus is partnered with Sprint, which offers service conversion incentives for new customers and device upgrade incentives for existing customers. The PLEDGE service may even be free in some instances. While the PLEDGE application can used on personal phones used for company business, the Port Nexus – Sprint partnership can allow companies to issue their own phones. This will improve the reliability of GPS service and driver behavior management and overcome any employee privacy concerns.

With costs of under $10 per user per month, all companies can take advantage of this emerging technology and even convert from their current GPS provider to reduce operating costs. All companies, regardless of size, can benefit from GPS management of driver behavior to improve employee accountability, and reduce their auto and Workers Compensation claims exposure from distracted driving and the unauthorized and hazardous use of mobile devices.

In employee handbooks, companies should include a schedule of progressive discipline for notifications of poor driving behavior. Drivers should be disciplined, up to termination, for driving infractions. While unfortunate and inconvenient, eliminating poor drivers before they have an accident will make your driver behavior management program responsive rather than reactionary, and will lower your auto claims and positively affect your auto premium rates. Terminating drivers solely on GPS notifications will send a powerful message to all employees and help create and reinforce a culture of safety at your company.

For information on Port Nexus and PLEDGE driver behavior management, email Robert Smelberg or call 954-802-7769.