IDOT enforcement officers will have locking computers
ANKENY — Iowa Department of Transportation motor vehicle enforcement officers use a myriad of tools to complete their job duties.
One of those tools is a laptop computer in every IDOT MVE patrol vehicle.
To reduce the risk of distraction, IDOT is deploying a new program, “Arch Angel.” This is a combination of hardware and software designated to improve safety of both law enforcement and the motoring public by disabling the laptop computer in the law enforcement vehicle when a predetermined speed is reached.
“Distracted driving can contribute to crashes and other traffic problems,” said MVE Chief Dave Lorenzen. “As a law enforcement agency, it is our duty to not only enforce laws related to those issues and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
The Arch Angel software constantly monitors the speed of the law enforcement vehicle. When that speed reaches or exceeds 15 mph, the software automatically disables or locks the laptop computer, key board, mouse and touch screen.
While the computer is locked, critical applications continue to run ensuring that the physical location of the officer continues to be sent to other law enforcement officers so situational awareness is maintained. The officer is able to use one keystroke to call for help if necessary. In addition, the officer can view a statewide map showing the location of the emergency they are responding to and the position of other law enforcement officers in the area. Once the vehicle’s speed falls below 15 mph, the computer becomes active.
Software installation and training will be completed and the system will be in use by Nov. 1.