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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

 

 

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

 

Blank-it Featured in “Business News” Article

Business News has published an article on Blank-it‘s continued growth into the U.S. fleet market and the growing emphasis on its use in Warehousing type environments.

Philip Little, founding director of the company, describes the increased awareness of Driver Distraction issues in the United States and the subsequent interest in the innovative solution offered by Blank-it.

The article also covers the increasing use of Blank-it in work-site environments such as warehousing and mine sites. Blank-it is the ideal computer management solution for forklift operators and the forthcoming Next Generation model will provide even more flexible and robust solutions for warehouse and road fleets of all sizes.

View a PDF version of the article here:  Blank-it Business News Article

Original article (registration required): http://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Safety-in-motion

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).

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).

In-Vehicle Safety – How Not to Do It (Part 7)

vehicle-safety-20140829The latest post in our series of how NOT to do in-car safety.

One of our team recently purchased a phone case and this product/image was among the bundled advertising material.

Not a safe way to use your device while driving and against the law in many jurisdictions.

Blank-it encourages complete concentration behind the wheel and we advocate minimal distraction whilst driving.

Ensure your own safety, the safety of others and reduce your potential liability as an employer by using a Blank-it system to manage your visible in-vehicle computer displays.

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.

Blank-it safety in motion

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

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).

 

Motion Computing – Tips to Transform your Fleet Vehicles

One of our Solution Partners, Motion Computing, have put together a useful article on their blog entitled “3 Tips to Transform your Fleet Vehicles from Functional to Phenomenal”.

The piece introduces three steps to help any organisation with a mobile workforce ensure that their fleet vehicles can operate as safe and productive “mobile offices”. The article makes specific mention of how Blank-it is a vital part of any effective and safe fleet solution.

Take a few minutes to read the article here: http://www.motioncomputing.com/us/blog/post/3-tips-to-transform-your-fleet-vehicles-from-functional-to-phenomenal

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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 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).
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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.

 

Distracted Driving – Legislation Is Not Enough

We have often stated our belief that legislation and education on their own aren’t enough to address the problem of phone or computer related driver distraction. Technology HAS to form part of the solution – and two recent articles only add weight to our argument.Motion | Blank IT

Harm Reduction

In the Ottawa Citizen, Steve LaFleur argues that legislation and associated punishment can only be effective as one part of a wider approach to the distracted driving issue – an approach that also has to include education and technology.

In fact, the article goes further and makes the point that legislation on its own is in fact detrimental as drivers engage in ever more dangerous practices to avoid police officers on the lookout for cellphone users.

Read the article here: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/harm+reduction+agenda+distracted+driving/9757133/story.html

Lip Service

On ReadWrite.com, Bradley Berman makes a similar point in a different way. His article bemoans the “half-hearted” approach to legislation, poor driver attitudes and a general unwillingness on the part of manufacturers to provide effective solution.

Berman describes his largely unsuccessful attempts to address the problem of cellphone distraction using currently available apps, noting that much of the problem revolves around the ‘voluntary’ nature of most products.

Given the sorry state of distracted driving technology, you have to be extremely motivated to use these apps. The Distracted Driving Foundation lists about 25 apps on its website—there are a few more on Apple’s App Store—but I couldn’t find a single one that was easy to use. Most were either defunct, required onerous sign-up processes, asked for subscription plans, or simply didn’t work as advertised.

The patchy effectiveness of these products, together with a general unwillingness of drivers to be part of the solution brings us back to the point we are making – that technology HAS to be a key part of the answer to distracted driving and that voluntary/opt-in models are not sufficient.

Read the article: http://readwrite.com/2014/04/30/distracted-driving-lip-service-solution#awesm=~oDx9aA8A8hfz1V

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 customizable 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