City of Inglewood Implements Programs to Cut Accident Costs

September 2007, Government Fleet - Feature

Most fleet managers have accepted the fact that as long as there are vehicles and operators, accidents are inevitable — a normal occurrenceand expense of operating a fleet. The City of Inglewood, Calif., however, hopes to change this mindset.

When a fleet agency’s vehicle is involved in an accident, the costs go far beyond the repair of the vehicle. Depending on the severity of the accident, costs can pile up with Workers’ Compensation claims, loss of productivity, third-party litigation, legal expenses, and equipment downtime, according to Rick Longobart, fleet services superintendent for the City of Inglewood. These factors, when combined, can cost a city millions.

Seven Elements of Success
The City of Inglewood’s accident costs have risen continuously throughout the years. The city is now taking an aggressive approach to reducing these costs. It hopes to reduce accident occurrence by implementing several different programs, part of its “7 Elements of Success” initiative, according to Longobart.

The first element, the WebTech Wireless Quadrant System — installing global positioning systems (GPS) in city vehicles — has already been implemented. The city has installed GPS in 30 vehiclesto monitor location, speed, and utilization of city equipment.

The second element, currently installed on five vehicles (all paratransit buses), is DriveCam, a system that records video of the vehicle and driver 10 seconds before and 10 seconds afteran event has occurred. This system is an added precaution to monitor driver behavior visually.

According to Longobart, the system, triggered by g-force, alerts the fleet manager of the incident through a streaming video reviewed via computer and when integrated with GPS, the system sends an e-mail notification to the supervisor and risk manager that an accident has occurred.

Clips of incidents are sent to the city’s legal department for assessment. The videos can be beneficial to fleet agencies, providing clear evidence when the city driver is not at fault in an accident, thus helping clear the city of liability.

Another preventive feature of DriveCam is that when it is triggered, it shows up on the city’s GPS computer screen as a warning flag and sends a message to the supervisor via e-mail or text message,reporting the vehicle was involved in either an accident or poor driving condition.

The DriveCam system is related to Inglewood’s third “Element of Success”— the CCG System, FASTER Fleet Management Software System, which enables the information to be interfaced into the city’s information system.

The fourth element Inglewood has implemented is a Reverse LCD Sensor System for high-severity vehicles. This technology indicates to drivers how close they are to an object when backing up. An LCD screen mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard alerts the operator both visually and audibly of an object’s position to the rear. The vehicle’s distance to the object is shown on the LCD screen, measured in feet. An audio tone increases in volume as the vehicle approachesthe object.

The fifth “Element of Success” is a driver training program, P.A.C.E.,which concentrates on driving behavior and accident prevention. P.A.C.E. stands for:

  • Plan ahead.
  • Analyze the surroundings.
  • Communicate with others.
    Execute safety.

    This training program is required for new hires and for individuals involved in accidents. If the accident numbers diminish, however, the city may implement the training as an annual refreshercourse, says Longobart.

    The city has also created a City Accident Review Board program, the sixth element. The review board assesses each accident and determines whether the accident was avoidable and what disciplinary action should be taken. In many cases, the disciplinary action will involve the driver training program.

    The final element in the city’s seven-part program is CEI’s Vehicle Accident Risk Management System, which manages vital information, including “the unit, the number, the vehicle, the date it occurred, the VIN number, and the accident report,” according to Longobart. They can contact a body shop company to pick up the vehicle for repair. The CEI system also allows management to track increases/decreases in accidents, accident prone locations, etc. They can run graphs and uncover statistics based on this information.

    The seven programs were adopted and approved by Inglewood city administration less than six months ago, so it is still too early to tell how they are affecting driving behaviors. As the programs progress, GPS and DriveCam will be installed on more vehicles, expanding the monitoring of city drivers.

    According to Longobart, these programs are expected to save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, reduce the need for legal action, and increase productivity and city vehicle uptime.

  • Comment On This Story

    Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
    Leave this field empty:
    * Please note that every comment is moderated.


    Fleet Management And Leasing

    Jack Firriolo from Merchants will answer your questions and challenges

    View All


    Public Fleet Tracking And Telematics

    Amin Amini from Verizon Connect will answer your questions and challenges

    View All


    Fuel Management

    Bernie Kanavagh from WEX will answer your questions and challenges

    View All


    Recent Topics

    I have 2 questions: 1. When obtaining quotes for vehicles, what do you require from the dealership? (ie. signature, date, is an invoice...

    View Topic

    Is anyone experiencing the following issue with their Ford Police Interceptors with the Ecoboost engine - after long periods of idling...

    View Topic

    Fleet Documents

    1134 Fleet Documents (and counting) to Download!

    Sponsored by

    A direct response to the economic crisis, the Recovery Act has three immediate goals: to  create new jobs and save existing ones, to spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth, and to foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending

    Read more



    Thi Dao
    When Are Policies Too Strict?

    By Thi Dao
    Before writing a policy that will last for years, determine whether it’s the best one. Would a typical employee follow the policy?

    What Your Vehicles Say About Your Fleet

    By Thi Dao

    Managing a Police Fleet

    How Chevrolet's Tahoe PPV Differs From its Retail Relative

    By Michaela Kwoka-Coleman
    For the Chevrolet Tahoe PPV, tires are added to the vehicles that are capable of handling speeds of up to 134 mph and the brakes are adjusted to handle frequent stopping at high speeds.

    Police Vehicles Pushed to the Limit in California

    By Paul Clinton

    Next-Gen Fleet

    Facundo Tassara
    Vehicle-to-What? — Evolving Vehicle Communication Technologies

    By Facundo Tassara
    Can vehicle collisions be avoided with vehicle-to-infrastructure or vehicle-to-vehicle technology? Several of the major OEMs think so and are spending billions of dollars a year working on the technology.

    Streets of the Future Could Take Automatic Tire Readings

    By Facundo Tassara

    Driving Notes

    Paul Clinton
    2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

    By Paul Clinton
    The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a significantly upgraded van that offers a dizzying array of configurations and meaningful improvements designed to improve productivity for delivering packages or hauling passengers.

    2018 Ford EcoSport

    By Mike Antich

    Nobody Asked Me, But...

    Sherb Brown
    Remembering Sundays in St. Louis, Detroit, and Atlantic City

    By Sherb Brown
    There is just no better opportunity to network, to learn, and to mingle with the best and the brightest than an in-person fleet event.

    Adapting to a Changing Tide

    By Sherb Brown