Woodbury County Battles Winter With GPS Tracking
With the transition of fall to winter comes cold weather. Not just cold weather but in some locations sleet, ice and snow, all things that can create hurdles when it comes to transportation. When heavy winter storms drop large amounts of snow, county officials and road management crews are left with the task of clearing roadways so people can travel to and from work. The efficiency of these road management crews varies in different states, counties and cities. Unfortunately, Woodbury County has been described by many as one of the places that struggles in clearing gravel roads after snow storms, but officials are hoping that will all change with a new fleet management plan that will result in GPS tracking devices being equipped to all county motor vehicles.
Sioux City and other locations throughout Woodbury County made the decision to acquire approximately 50 GPS vehicle trackers to monitor county vehicles overseeing roughly 1,400 miles after numerous complaints about roads not being cleared of snow during winter storms. A county official speaking about the new fleet tracking devices explained that the GPS units will provide a way to verify routes of snow plows in real-time along with historical driving activity. This way if/when a person contacts the county and says their roads haven't been graded all week officials will have the ability to review driving logs to see where all snow plow resources have been used. This is done by the GPS tracker recording and time stamping all travel information. Residents living in rural parts of the community will also be able to receive more accurate information on what time snow plows will be in their particular area.
Although most of the complaints in the county revolved around snow plow activity, garbage trucks, trailers, sign trucks and other motor graders will also be outfitted with GPS tracker devices, according to the Secondary Roads Department. County officials are excited about the new program because it will improve response times, record keeping, auto protection and help connect fleet managers with crews working in the field. For example, if a driver for some reason finds themselves stuck due to some form of automotive mechanical failure a fleet manager can quickly determine which other driver is closest in proximity to that stranded driver. This will allow help to arrive in the shortest time possible, something that can be life-saving in a true emergency situation.
This new real-time GPS fleet tracking system had an initial cost of $16,000 and will require the county to fork over roughly $1,500 in monthly service obligations because the real-time devices transmit information over cellular towers.
A spokesperson for Woodbury county explained that satellite guided tracking technology is the wave of the future and that numerous other counties throughout Iowa are also looking at implementing such a system. Although Woodbury county has just now made the commitment to using real-time GPS trackers, the idea had been discussed frequently.
Trailer Theft Results In GPS Tracking Rise
According to government agencies that monitor crime statistics, automobile theft has been on a steady down trend over the past decade. The decrease in car theft can be attributed to a number of different factors such as more informed motorists locking up their vehicles, cars manufactured more securely and the rise in use of consumer grade GPS vehicle tracking devices. Although national motor vehicle theft numbers are down, Spartanburg County Sheriff's officials have been struggling in South Carolina with a rise in trailer theft that has seen approximately 300 trailers reported stolen in the past two years in the small county.
How big has the trailer theft problem gotten to be? The trailer thefts became such an issue that in 2011 Spartanburg County Sheriffs began mapping each individual crime and using decoy or "bait" trailers to try and catch the people committing the crimes. The police have received very few leads and have expressed publicly the difficult time they have had finding and arresting those responsible for the crimes.
A law enforcement official in Spartanburg County speaking about the trailer theft epidemic explained that the thieves usually target the inexpensive trailers that are typically found collecting dust in most people's driveways. He went on to explain that the trailer thieves waste no time in taking the stolen goods and painting them, making it difficult for not only the trailer owner but also law enforcement authorities to recognize the stolen property. The quick turnaround is what makes catching the thieves such a challenge.
A representative for a local trailer company that has been in business in Spartanburg County for years stated the importance of safeguarding assets. He recommended at the minimum people purchase a trailer lock to prevent any trailer thieves from quickly hooking and hauling off with a person's trailer. However, for those in a region where trailer theft is quite prevalent, the person at the trailer company said that a real-time GPS tracker is probably the best solution. This is because live GPS tracker devices can alert trailer owners the second their assets are moved or stolen and will provide real-time locational data frequently. This will allow the trailer owner to provide law enforcement in detail the whereabouts of their stolen property.