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Techies 2013: Best Risk Management system - Romex Driver Distraction Prevention

Date: 20 August 2013

It's less common than you would think that we get a unanimous decision from the BusinessCar Techies judging panel, but everyone was impressed by Driver Distraction Prevention from Romex, which acts to enforce the policy of firms that have banned mobile phone use in vehicles.

The system automatically locks the keyboard of a smartphone within 30 seconds of detecting the start of a journey, stopping workers from making or receiving calls, texting, emailing or using social media and the internet. It also cuts calls that are active, stopping employees getting around the system by dialling someone just before they set off. Emergency 999 calls are still possible, and employers are still able to contact drivers to advise them to stop and pick up an urgent voicemail, so staff won't waste time travelling to meetings that have been cancelled.

DDP is installed remotely, so it doesn't need field workers to come to a central location, and it can be customised by employees, if some members of staff still need hands-free phone access.

Romex's software is pre-set with an employee's working hours, and any journeys within those hours are defaulted to work journeys and therefore bar phone activity, unless overridden by the employee. It clicks back into private mode when the person arrives home after work.

Highly Commended was Greenroad's Smartphone Edition. Detecting automatically when the car begins moving, the app monitors the driver's inputs, giving audio and visual feedback if it spots a risky or fuel-inefficient manoeuvre.