When did you last grab a piece of paper and a map? Or did you listen to your neighbourhood radio station for traffic updates?

The way we live has been completely transformed by GPS tracking Devices. We now take it for granted that we can locate people and, most importantly, ourselves.

The effectiveness of fleets all around the world has significantly increased thanks to this technology. However, GPS tracking is a force that may be employed both for good and for bad. Because of this, the majority of Australian states have established specific regulations around its use, and it is essential that businesses abide by these to avoid legal trouble.

Is it permissible to track business vehicles using GPS?

The key question is, is GPS vehicle tracking authorised in Australia?

The quick response? It is, indeed. But generally speaking, you need to make sure that everyone who is being tracked is informed and given adequate warning.

We suggest creating a vehicle tracking policy and disseminating it to your drivers to make sure you’re operating within the law. This paper ought to clarify:

  • Why will you track your vehicles?
  • The information you’ll gather from the cars
  • When and how those data will be gathered
  • How you intend to use this information to advance the company
  • How will you protect the data?
  • If your drivers tamper with, disable, or remove a tracker without your consent, there will be disciplinary action taken.

What laws each state in Australia has regarding GPS vehicle tracking?

Australia is so large that each state has slightly unique laws. Therefore, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the laws you must abide by in your region:

Western Australia
The Surveillance Devices Act of 1998 is the law you should pay close attention to if you live in Western Australia. Since it’s somewhat lengthy, we’ll sum it up as follows: never track employees or an item they have on them, such as their automobile, without their knowledge and permission.

Simply put, the risk isn’t worth trying to track a car without authorization. Companies may be subject to fines of up to $50,000, and directors and directly responsible management may be subject to $5,000 personal fines and/or up to 12 months in jail.

Queensland
The tracking of automobiles is not technically prohibited by law in Queensland. Having said that, it’s always a good idea to inform your staff of important decisions because doing so fosters mutual respect and trust.

South Australia
All surveillance-related laws in South Australia are governed under the Surveillance Devices Act of 2016. This law requires that businesses who intend to track any of their employees use their express or implied consent before employing any tracking equipment, including smartphones, vehicles, and personal GPS trackers.

New South Wales
In New South Wales, tracking corporate vehicles is acceptable as long as the employer abides with the Workplace Surveillance Act 2005. According to the statute, you must inform an employee about employee tracking at least two weeks before it is scheduled to begin.

You must provide them written notice (email is acceptable), along with the following information:

  • What kind of monitoring will be conducted (camera, tracking etc.)
  • How will the surveillance be conducted?
  • beginning of the surveillance
  • Whether the surveillance will be ongoing or only occasionally
  • Whether the surveillance will be carried out continuously or for a predetermined amount of time

Additionally, employers must put up a sign inside the car warning people that it is being tracked.

vehicle gps tracking

Northern Territory
The Northern Territory’s and New South Wales’ policies on vehicle tracking system are virtually identical (see above). According to the 2007 Surveillance Devices Act, the Northern Territory.

Victoria
The Surveillance Devices Act 1999 for Victoria offers all the information you require regarding car tracking. The most important lesson here is that installing a monitoring device on someone without their agreement is against the law if you want to track their whereabouts. This also involves the tracking of devices like vehicles or phones.

In this situation, consent may be spoken or implicit. Implied consent could be found within, for instance, a job, whereas express consent requires asking the question directly.

Australian Capital Territory
Similar to New South Wales, the ACT has regulations governing vehicle tracking that require advance notice to the individual you will be tracking and the disclosure of certain information (see above). The Workplace Privacy Act 2011 governs them (ACT).

Tasmania
In Tasmania, there isn’t currently any regulation governing vehicle monitoring. Again, we insist that the best course of action is to be honest.

Can your employer legally track your phone?

In general, the guidelines for utilising GPS to track an employee’s phone are the same as those outlined above for vehicle tracking. They are treated similarly since they both deal with tracking an item (whether it be a phone or a car) that you can infer will reveal the position of the worker who used the phone or car.

Next actions
Fleet Management Systems can use vehicle tracking for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few applications for your system:

  • Employees can simply determine the quickest path, and you may assign the person who is closest to each job.
  • Manage your fuel usage by calculating the cost of idling and inefficient driving.
  • Track tyre pressure and perform general car maintenance

At Sonar Technologies International, we not only ensure your business gets more productive by using our Dynamic Fleet Management System, but we also make sure our partners are legally compliant to their state laws while they are using our smart solutions.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact us on 02 9630 3533 or email on sales@sonartechnologies.com to receive tailored quotes for your company. And keep in mind that your provider should be able to provide you with the information you require if you have questions about the legalities of your vehicle tracking.

If you are not sure how or how much a Fleet Management System can benefit your business, talk to our experts and get a One Month Free Trial of the software, fully customisable to fit your business requirements.