N.J. considers using GPS to monitor state car use

A bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature would create a pilot program to track some of the nearly 9,000 state-owned vehicles.


The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Van Drew and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, calls for GPS devices to be put in some of the cars.

That could help determine whether those vehicles are being used properly, said Handlin, R-Monmouth.

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“We are always hearing allegations by citizens and by good government groups that they’ve seen state vehicles in inappropriate places like at the mall, at the beach, riding around Pennsylvania,”she said.

There may be valid reasons to take state cars to those places, said Hetty Rosenstein with the Communications Workers of America, the largest state workers union. She said she doesn’t believe there’s widespread abuse of the vehicle fleet.

Van Drew, D-Cape May, said most state workers are using the vehicles properly but tracking the cars could detect abuse.

“For folks that are doing their job right, this isn’t going to bother them at all, and they’re not going to be worried about it,” he said. “Someone who would misuse a state vehicle on the other hand is going to be concerned and hopefully more careful.”

Sponsors of the legislation say tracking the vehicles could also help improve fuel efficiency by making sure drivers take the shortest route.

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