Why paper logbooks pose a greater risk | logmate

Why paper logbooks pose a greater risk

We are required to keep the data for a period no less than 7 years by 
the 
legislation under which we operate. Our current privacy policy & terms 
of 
use <http://logmate.co.nz/about> outline this in more detail, however 
at 
this stage we have no plans to remove any data at any time.

Access to your logbook records in terms of legality are by no means any 
different when comparing paper vs electronic formats. It is your data and 
you must give consent or it must be 'requested via legal channels outlined 
under the Act'. All the same laws apply (Land Transport Act, Work-time 
rules) whether it is paper or electronic.

You are correct that enforcement officers 'may use' the GPS data to 
determine actual position at the time any record is created in Logmate 
during an 'investigation' and thus 'may be' able to conclude that a drivers 
logbook entry is in fact fraudulent. The emphasis on 'may be' is 
intentional.

The level of evidential weight that a smart-phones GPS data has, is yet to 
be tested in our courts, but in the event of a prosecution I would imagine 
that other evidence to support any claims would be required, but this is 
just a personal view on my part and I'm no lawyer.

In the case of a paper logbook, your right that the location entered may 
not provide enough detail, however I know for a fact that other means would 
definitely, and can currently be, requested. Like, for example your mobile 
phone logs from Vodafone/Telecom/2degrees. These records indicate which 
cell tower you were connected too at any given time on any given day, which 
can be used to triangulate your location. Other examples are Eftpos 
transactions, Traffic cameras, Security cameras, & Navman navigation logs. 
The list goes on.

However, the bigger picture is this. By the act of using an electronic 
logbook system, a driver/operator is 'willing demonstrating' their desire 
to operate in 'as legal a manner as they can'. This intention on its own 
sets the driver/operator apart from the majority, and thus will be viewed 
as a 'positive'. Due to the nature of this technology, the enforcement 
community acknowledge that this reflects the 'right attitude' and simply 
helps them to identify those that don't.

Some of the obvious benefits of electronic logbooks are the amount of time 
spent completing your logbook; the administration of delivering to your 
operators and for them to file and store these records. In the event of an 
enforcement stop, an officer is able to review a logbook in a fraction of 
the time, which means you get back to work sooner.

The true benefits to the driver/operator reside in the comfort and 
certainty that all logbook records are and will always be available, free 
from legibility issues, inaccurate entry formats and delivered to all 
associated parties automatically when required. Not only does this mitigate 
the risk of fines that start at $150 for each issue found, which can lead 
to a 3 month loss of license for drivers and even larger penalties for 
operators, but also in the event of an accident or incident any insurance 
claims made as a result a less likely to be refused on the grounds of 
inability to demonstrate compliance effectively; something which is little 
known by the vast majority of people I speak to.

The introduction of electronic logbooks into the transport industry is, in 
my mind, inevitable and simply part of the evolution of the level of 
professionalism of those that work within it. Like all change, there is a 
mix of pros and cons, but one thing that is certain is evolution is 
inevitable.

Also given the new focus on Work place Health and Safety that has arisen 
recently, the level of scrutiny and interest in the safety (& compliance) 
of all workers in New Zealand and the resulting need for an efficient means 
to capture the necessary data in a format that provides timely delivery, is 
now more pressing than ever.

Change is now afoot. It is simply a matter of deciding when and whether you 
and your operator choose to adapt.

I know that this response is long-winded, but your query strikes at the 
heart of why I got into this business.

Greg McDowell

Founder and Managing Director 
Tierra Technologies | developers & operators of Logmate