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Halifax Water – Client Testimonial

“Blank-it software has been working great.

We are waiting on an order for more tablet docking stations to be installed in our fleet before rolling it out to the rest of the crews. The configuration has been simple and straight forward. We look forward to having this installed with the rest of our crews going forward.”

Mike Duggan, IS Support Technician, Halifax Water

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Halifax Water Website

 

 

Havis Screen Blanking Solution Powered by Blank-it

Our Solution Partner, Havis, is now offering Screen Blanking Solutions powered by Blank-it to provide easy, safe and legally compliant ways to manage in-vehicle computer displays and prevent driver distraction.

Havis’ Screen Blanking Solutions provide easy, safe and legally compliant ways to manage in-vehicle computer displays and prevent driver distraction.

Blank-it is a combination of a multi-sensor, rugged USB and intelligent modular software technology. Once activated, the motion sensor technology recognizes a vehicle’s mobility and limits the display’s functionality, reducing visual, cognitive and physical distractions.

Sam Barall, National Sales Manager, Enterprise at Havis Inc, stated:

Distracted driving costs the nation thousands of lives and billions of dollars each year. Whether used on the road, in the field or in a warehouse, screen blanking can help to keep drivers safe and prevent vehicle damages while meeting regulations governing display equipment in work vehicles.

Blank-it’s password-protected administration interface allows companies to determine the level of screen functionality for a fleet of any size, with options including passenger-only viewing, privacy screen, keyboard/mouse disabler, GPS override and voice command, with additional features in development.

Easy to install, Blank-it can be embedded in a docking station or secured in a customized Havis Tamper Proof Cover without drilling or hardwiring. The technology operates without the need for antennas, power sources, GPS or third-party applications. Blank-It software is compatible with Windows XP (SP3), Vista, 7 and 10.

For more information on Havis’ Screen Blanking Solutions powered by Blank-it, visit: http://customers.havis.com/index.php/product-news/screen-blanking

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At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it is designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OHS requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 1300 112 002 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 1300 112 002).
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U.S. Mandates Reversing Cameras in Vehicles by 2018

The National Highway Safety Transportation Agency (NHTSA) recently announced a new rule that will require vehicles built from May 1, 2018 onwards to have a reversing (also known as a “back-up”) camera. This rule will apply to all road-legal vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4.5 Tonnes).

The NHTSA cites an average of 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries from “back-up” or reversing accidents every year, and notes that children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of the deaths.

According to the rule, all vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 will have to be equipped with a rear-view camera. It also included specifics on response time after the vehicle’s transmission is shifted into reverse (2 seconds) and “linger time” of how long the camera remains active after shifting from reverse (between 4 and 8 seconds).

Introducing View-it

view-it logo 2016

View-it allows a reverse camera feed to be relayed direct to an in-vehicle computer display, thus avoiding the need for a separate display screen.

As soon as the vehicle is put in reverse the image from the reverse camera is instantly displayed on the computer screen. Once reverse is dis-engaged, the display reverts to its previous state freeing up the screen for normal use.

View-it is suitable for any vehicle fitted with a compatible camera and offers the following advantages:

  • Cost Avoidance – No need to buy an expensive reverse camera set-up. Use your existing in-vehicle computer for the reverse feed image.
  • Safety – Reduce the distraction by reducing the amount of mounted monitors in the vehicle.
  • Unobtrusive – Initializes a full-screen image containing the camera feed. When not reversing view-it is completely invisible to the user.
  • The view-it product includes software and smart cables ready for installation.

View-it is a stand-alone product that also integrates well with the Blank-it distracted driving solution and we recommend that all fleet owners consider installation of Blank-it & view-it as a vital part of their safety/OH&S obligations.

Find out more about view-it

 

No charges for Deputy who killed Cyclist while Driving Distracted

deputy-napster-distractionCalifornia prosecutors have decided NOT to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy who struck and killed a prominent entertainment attorney and former Napster executive with his patrol car last year.

Deputy Andrew Wood was reportedly distracted by his mobile digital computer when his patrol car drifted into the bike lane, allegedly typing an email at the time he ran over cyclist Milton Olin Jr.

Prosecutors said in a letter cited by Los Angeles Daily News that because Wood was acting within the course of his duties when typing into his computer, criminal charges are not warranted.

Under current legislation, law enforcement officials are allowed to use electronic wireless devices while carrying out their duties. However – the victim’s family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department and accused Wood of negligence and an online petition has been launched on Change.org demanding that charges be brought against the deputy.

While typing an email on his computer, it is alleged that “Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking Olin.”

View CBS Report below.

Online stories reporting the decision have prompted many comments demanding that action be taken and/or the law changed e.g. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736376/Deputy-killed-former-Napster-COO-drifting-bike-lane-distracted-laptop-NOT-face-charges-answering-work-related-email.html

 

This is just the type of situation that Blank-it is designed to prevent

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Blank-it also makes it possible to disable input from keyboard or touchscreen to prevent this type of incident happening.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

Blank-it Featured in Electricity Today Magazine

Blank-it and our solution partners Motion Computing have been featured in a great article in ‘Electricity Today‘ magazine.

The article, “Distracted Driving Equals Disaster” explains in detail the dangers of driver distraction for Utility companies everywhere.

Backed up with statistics and in-depth analysis, it goes on to cover measures Utility companies can take to address this dangerous and potentially very expensive problem.

Solutions discussed include the use of Blank-it to manage in-vehicle computer use and thus reduce the risks associated with driver distraction.

We think this is a “must read” article for any company in the Utility sectors.

 

Read the article online here:  Distracted Driving Equals Disaster

 

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

https://www.xploretech.com/

Blank-it safety in motion

A Distracted Driving Crash Investigation

We thought this was an interesting video to post. It follows the progress of a U.K.Police investigation into the cause of a horrific accident which involved in-cab distraction.

The video begins with a view and description of the crash scene, and shows the awful damage caused to one of the vehicles involved.

It then goes on to trace the Police investigation as it became clear that distraction caused by using a mobile device was a major factor in the crash.

This is just one example of these distraction-related crashes, but it gives a good insight into the investigation process and also the sometimes tragic consequences of driver distraction.

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

 

VW’s Clever Texting and Driving Ad

Various governments, transport and health departments etc have produced campaigns to highlight the dangers of distracted driving, a few of which we’ve highlighted in the past.

Now Volkswagen have just released a very clever campaign of their own which is probably the best example we’ve seen so far of demonstrating just how dangerous distraction can be.

To set the exercise up, Volkswagen took a crowd of people to a movie viewing and obtained their mobile phone numbers as they entered. Before the expected movie was shown, the screen displayed  a ‘first-person’ view of someone starting a car and driving on a rural road. The audience have no idea what they’re watching but they are looking at the screen to see what will happen next.

Then, the organisers used location-based messaging to send everyone in the cinema a text. Nearly everyone takes their eyes off the screen to read the text message.

Watch the video to see what happened next.


At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

Watching a Movie on Your Laptop – While Driving

Here’s a pretty good example of computer related driving distraction.

News.com.au reports that a Melbourne driver was photographed watching a video on his tablet computer while driving at night, and was observed swerving across lanes while doing so.

Road Policing Command Inspector Simon Humphrey said most would realise that this was “dangerous and stupid behaviour”. If it’s convenient to use this type of the equipment on the road then do offenders also think it’s convenient for their family to be told they’ve killed someone else or themselves?

This just reinforces the point we have been making that legislation and “voluntary” solutions are not sufficient.

See article here: http://www.news.com.au/national/man-snapped-watching-a-movie-while-driving-was-drifting-in-and-out-of-lanes/story-e6frfkp9-1226922671528

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

 

Google Lobbying Against Distraction Legislation?

Reuters.com reports that Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the emerging wearable technology.

The article describes how a number of U.S. states are considering regulating use of Google Glass and similar technology by drivers, although none have passed any such legislation yet.

It goes on to state:

Google Inc has deployed lobbyists to persuade elected officials in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri that it is not necessary to restrict use of Google Glass behind the wheel, according to state lobbying disclosure records and interviews conducted by Reuters.

The report quotes Delaware state Rep. Joseph Miro as saying:

“I’m not against Google or Google Glass. It may have a place in society, My issue is that while you are driving, you should have nothing that is going to impede the concentration of the driver.”

According to Reuters, Google advises people to abide by any applicable local laws that limit use of mobile devices while driving.

An additional issue related to devices such as Google Glass concerns law enforcement officers being able to prove that the equipment was actually operating at the time a driver was pulled over.

To sum up: This is emerging technology that adds further complexity to the whole Distracted Driving problem.

See the Reuters article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-google-glass-lobbying-idUSBREA1O0P920140225

 

Transportation Apps – Can They Compromise Safety?

By Ed Brown as Edbrown05 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia CommonsWe came across an interesting blog post on Governing.com – which takes a close look at Apps which are marketed as Transportation or Traffic aids, with particular emphasis on the ‘Waze‘ App.

The post raises some pertinent questions regarding the use of these apps when driving and the possible distraction impact.

Regarding the Apps’ usage, the author writes:

Most surprisingly, at one point, an alert popped up on the screen asking me to confirm whether another driver’s report of a red light camera in my vicinity was accurate. I almost rear ended someone when I glanced to check the message and enter a reply. As one critical writer put it, “Practically everything about the application is designed — even if not intentionally — to distract.”

The reports goes on to discuss potential liability issues:

Waze’s terms of service that say “it is strictly forbidden to send traffic updates … while driving. Such updates may only be sent after you have stopped your vehicle in an appropriate location permitted by law.” But, frankly, that seems like it may be lip service to the idea of safety. After all, it’s hard to imagine any drivers will achieve Waze’s goal of saving 10 minutes a day if they pull over every time they want to report an accident. Moreover, the app prevents text inputs when the car is moving, but to override it, drivers just have to indicate they’re a passenger.

Indeed, some have wondered if Waze or its users could be opening themselves to liability, given that it encourages participation through a points system. One blogger has suggested Waze should pay particularly close attention to an August New Jersey appeals court ruling that found the sender of a text message who knows his recipient is texting and driving can potentially be liable for causing a distraction.

Read the full article here: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/col-transportation-apps-waze-compromise-safety.html
At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.