A Vehicle Information and Safety System (VISC) includes a main computer at a vehicle fleet headquarters (HQ) with access over a CDPD data network to a computerized sensor system mounted in each vehicle of the fleet. Sensors which may be used include load sensors coupled to the axles, accelerometers and temperature sensors coupled to the cargo bay, infrared andor pressure sensors monitoring the operator, cameras viewing the cargo bay, cab andor environment, and GPS data. The sensor data are processed by in-vehicle andor HQ computers, to monitor the state of the vehicle and operator, and the security status of the vehicle. PSAP (911) calls can be transmitted from the vehicle under remote control from the HQ for those cases in which the operator is unavailable or unresponsive, and the transmission can be tagged with GPS data. Speech signals from the operator are converted to text, and may be used for control of various functions, or may be data-compressed for transmission over the data network to HQ. Commands such as route or schedule changes may be transmitted as data text to the vehicle, where the data is converted to synthetic speech. Pick-ups and deliveries are logged by any one or all of operator voice, barricades, camera notes, digitized signatures, GPS and time data. A circuit-switched cellular radio is provided for use when the CDPD network is unavailable.