Ten years ago, toll violations were an insignificant expense for fleets. Today, it is the second fastest growing cost for fleets. The proliferation of automated tollbooths has dramatically increased the volume of toll violations. Last year, more than 40 percent of all fleet violations were toll violations. As more automated toll systems are introduced nationwide, the volume of violations promises to increase. Typical reasons for toll violations are expired credit cards, dead transponder batteries, not transferring the transponder to a replacement vehicle, or failure to report the replacement vehicle’s license plate number to the toll authority. These simple mistakes can be costly. For instance, if an employee drives through five tollbooths on the way to work and the same five back home, during the course of a month that driver has incurred a minimum of 200 toll violations without knowing it. It is not uncommon for drivers to accumulate hundreds of dollars worth of toll violations and penalties.
The 80/20 Rule Applies
Many fleets do not have a written fleet policy specific to driver reimbursement of parking ticket and toll violations. “As jurisdictions become more aggressive in collection of unpaid fines, more fleet managers will be forced to deal with this issue because the dollar cost for these violations will creep up to where it will catch senior management’s attention,” said Delaney. Some fleets deduct parking and toll violations from a salesperson’s expense report, said Delaney. Other fleets require drivers to write a personal check reimbursing the company. Besides recouping lost revenue, a side benefit to reimbursement of violations is a decrease in the number of future tickets. “Fleet managers who adopt a driver reimbursement policy for violations report a significant decrease in the volume of violations. Drivers who know they will be held financially accountable tend to be more careful or pay a ticket before it becomes delinquent,” said Nickerson.
When identifying violators, invariably the 80/20 rule applies. “In some cases it is even higher,” said Chengary. “For some fleets, as much as 85 percent of the violations are incurred by 15 percent of the drivers.” Many of these are the top salespeople, whose violations are ignored, creating an inequality in policy enforcement. Are they any different than the driver who blows an engine because he or she never changed the oil? Why should one be treated differently than the other? The answer is they shouldn’t. Let me know what you think. [email protected]
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet