New Jersey Fleets Must Now Warn Drivers About GPS Tracking

Employers can be charged $1,000 for the first violation and up to $2,500 for each violation after that. Here's what to know.
Adam Rowe

A just-enacted law in the state of New Jersey means all private sector employers must now notify their employees before adding a location-tracking device to a work vehicle.

There are plenty of valid reasons to track an employee's vehicle: Any industry with fleet operation like a construction, HVAC or delivery service can become a lot more efficient with a fleet management system that updates in real time. But at the same time, employees deserve to know what data about them their employer is running a business with.

This new law may only be in one state, but it highlights the importance of transparency through the one method that makes everyone listen: Hefty fines.

What to Know About the New Jersey Law

As of April 18, 2022, any New Jersey employer who knowingly install a tracking device on a vehicle used by an employee without first giving a written notice to that employee will be subject to a civil penalty.

The cost is capped at no more than $1,000 for the first violation and no more than $2,500 for each violation after the first, according to a Stevens and Lee news alert.

If this law affects you as an employer, you'll need to provide written notice to all current employees and to new ones as they join. Don't forget to keep a record of your documentation as well.

There's one exception: If the tracking device is entirely and only for documenting employee expense reimbursement, the law won't apply. Plus, nothing in the law supersedes other government regulations for interstate commerce.

Why Vehicle Tracking is Impacted

If you're not involved in one of these relevant industries, employers tracking their employees' every move may seem like micromanagement. But location tracking data can allow a fleet manager to help their employees out.

Many businesses might need to make multiple stops across a day: Plumbing or lawncare services are one example, as are any local delivery services. With the right tracking software, a manager can spot when a driver has taken a wrong turn, and can use a two-way messaging service to help them figure out the best route from their current position.

Some fleet management services like our top pick for the best route planning software, Verizon Connect Reveal, will even include weather and traffic updates, so a manager can tell which drivers should be rerouted — another perk that wouldn't be possible without real-time location tracking.

Granted, these scenarios aren't exactly what the new law is designed to address, since the employees would likely be aware that they're being tracked, and this law seems to be aimed at stopping employees from overreaching without the permission or knowledge of their employees. But law does cover any New Jersey business that needs to track its employees, and that includes all fleet operations in the state.

If that's you, start prepping your paperwork now.

And, if it will be you soon, check out our picks for the top route planning software, all of which come with plenty of up-to-the-minute location tracking.

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Verizon Connect

Samsara

Teletrac Navman

Fleetio

Motive (formerly KeepTruckin)

Silent Passenger

Omnitracs

US Fleet Tracking

WorkWave

ProTransport

$45/vehicle/month

$40/vehicle/month

$45/vehicle/month

$5/vehicle/month

$25/vehicle/month

$19.99/vehicle/month

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$30/vehicle/month

$49/vehicle/month

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Best overall

Best for the transportation industry

Best for data-hungry companies

Best low cost option

Best value solution

Best mid-range option

Best for reliability

Best for location tracking only

Best for customizable route planning

Best for ease of use

  • Great value prices
  • International coverage
  • Automated maintenance alerts
  • Unauthorized break or detour tracking
  • Dynamic routing
  • Driver scorecards
  • Dynamic dashboards with custom KPIs
  • In-cab coaching tablet for drivers
  • Great maintenance management
  • Detailed fuel tracking
  • Cost-effective
  • Open API
  • Fuel tracking
  • Inspection and diagnositics tools
  • Driver scorecards
  • Driver behavior tracking
  • Live 24/7 customer service
  • Fuel tracking features
  • Predictive modelling functionality
  • Hardware installation is simple
  • Useful online technical documents and videos
  • Fast GPS data
  • Optimizes and simulates routes
  • Open API
  • Mobile app
  • Intuitive interface
  • At-a-glance dispatch board
  • Geofencing functionality
  • Long contract periods
  • Learning curve can be steep
  • Contracts are 3-5 years long
  • Must install system yourself
  • No option for hardwired units
  • 30-day notice needed to prevent annual autorenewal
  • No engine temperature monitoring option
  • Limited functionality
  • Not ELD compatible
  • Mobile app has limited functionality
  • Not a full FMS
  • Refresh time can be laggy
  • GPS may glitch
  • Tough learning curve
  • Limited features
  • Not a full FMS
  • Third-party integrations needed for billing
  • Support team response time may be slow
  • No driving alerts
  • No mobile app
  • No financial data tracking

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30-day free trial; hardware and software

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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