HomeResourcesCase studiesTiegerman improves visibility, passenger safety

Case study

Tiegerman improves visibility, passenger safety

When you come into our van, you've got other people's lives that you're handling. So, I've got to make sure those people are safe, and they go home at the end of the day.
George Folise
Safety Manager

Tiegerman is a New York State approved non-public school program (K-12) for students with language disorders and developmental disabilities. Since 1985, Tiegerman has helped children and adults with disabilities build valuable life skills and receive the educational experiences and services they need.

The organization offers a range of resources and programs, including Tiegerman Community Services (TCS), which provides services to adults with developmental disabilities in Queens, Suffolk and Nassau County, New York. These services encompass employment programs that deliver vocational training and career development opportunities, as well as site-based habilitation programs that help  individuals improve daily living skills.

A top priority for Tiegerman is to keep its programs' participants safe. TCS manages a fleet of 20 vans that transport individuals to and from program sites, and over time the organization’s leaders realized they needed better visibility into van location and driver behavior. TCS then partnered with Verizon to help address staff and passenger safety with a reliable fleet management platform, Verizon Connect Reveal.

Searching for greater vehicle visibility

TCS has 20 eight-passenger vans in its fleet. Each van transports two staff members and six individuals.

Tiegerman previously had a fleet management solution that didn't fully meet its needs. TCS was looking for a more user-friendly mobile app with automated alerts that would make it easier to access and share information from anywhere at any time. Overall, TCS wanted to keep better track of its vans and drivers, and "find out where they are at any given moment, where they're going, where they're coming from, how fast they're going and keep everybody safe," said George Folise, Safety Manager for Tiegerman.

Harnessing real-time insights for better fleet management

The Verizon Connect Reveal GPS fleet tracking and management platform turned out to be the right solution for Tiegerman to address these challenges.

Verizon Connect Reveal is a fleet management platform that provides Tiegerman with location and driving telematics data to help mitigate risk and provide proof of service. Reveal also has an integrated driver- and road-facing dashcam solution that provides video proof of any incidents on the road.

TCS can access critical detail from a desktop or the app. Managers easily can see each driver's route, whether they are traveling or stopped, what time they arrived and what time they left. Drivers can access their own driving performance and safety scorecards to help them improve their driving habits.

Folise receives near-real-time alerts whenever drivers are speeding or performing other driving activities, such as idling, making long stops or experiencing mechanical issues that align with certain diagnostic trouble codes. Tiegerman also has access to historical data and customizable reports, such as daily reports for each driver's activity, as well as distance traveled, fuel efficiency and harsh driving incident reports.

Improving safety with video support

The road- and driver-facing cameras TCS installed have been invaluable for helping the organization gain more visibility into its fleet and passenger safety.

"We want to make sure the individuals are safe. Most of them are verbal, but there are some that might not be," Folise said, adding that the cameras help TCS monitor interactions in the van in the event a parent has a concern or they need to investigate a potential issue.

TCS also has a driver hotline that residents and other motorists can call to report driver behavior. Having access to video, live maps and reporting allows TCS to gather more information about these incidents and confirm whether there is an issue to follow up on, such as speeding or distracted driving.

Verizon Connect Reveal has helped TCS when drivers have been involved in accidents in which they weren't at fault. In one case, a driver rear-ended a TCS van. The organization was able to provide the other party's insurance company with video footage to prove the driver was liable.

"Sometimes the insurance companies will call and say, 'Our driver said you guys jammed on the brakes for no reason.' I'll say, 'Well, alright, that's great, but I have camera footage. Do you want to see it?' (Then), I'll get a phone call the next day saying, 'Alright, we'll take 100% responsibility for the accident,' " Folise said.

Using Reveal, Folise is able to monitor alerts for harsh braking, phone interactions and rolling stops. Every three months, the organization rewards drivers who have a good safety record with a prize such as a gift card.

TCS is dedicated to ensuring adults with disabilities live as safely as possible. Achieving this mission depends on getting them to program sites safely. With Verizon Connect Reveal, TCS is able to mitigate risk, coach driver behavior and provide its community members with the safe, reliable transportation they deserve.

"There are six families trusting us with their family members," Folise said. "When you come into our van, you've got other people's lives that you're handling. So, I've got to make sure those people are safe, and they go home at the end of the day."

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