How Do You Feel About Driver Facing Cameras?

Topic 17788 | Page 6

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Gladhand wrote:

The camera never bothered me because I don't do anything to make me nervous about it. I find it to be an excellent accountability partner. Regardless, what needs to be said is said.

Devon although you stated that usually you avoid this topic, your two word description of "what" this technology means to you is arguably one of the best ways to summarize the importance and necessity of the camera. Swift wishes to clone your attitude and inject it into the minds of all their first year drivers.

Props!

Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

This issue, like many other issues will be settled by the silent majority as right or wrong the issue may be.

Sure, the owner of a trucking company and his 3 lawyers and a handful of vocal drivers might think it's a good idea but when 500 drivers quit and your loads are late because you can't find anyone to drive for you, then you'll finally understand.

I've never driven with a camera so i don't know what it's like. But my first impression is that i would be handing in my keys the very next day and driving for someone else.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
This issue, like many other issues will be settled by the silent majority......when 500 drivers quit and your loads are late because you can't find anyone to drive for you, then you'll finally understand.

Sounds like you're speaking for what you believe is the silent majority then? Well, the same doomsday theories have always been presented in the past regarding electronic logbooks and automatic transmissions and governed trucks and stricter standards for drug testing. "When everyone walks out on the industry they'll learn their lesson!!!" I've been hearing the war cries since 1993.

Here we are all these years later with electronic logbooks and automatic transmissions and governed trucks and stricter standards for drug testing. And yes indeed some of the old timers have left the industry because it took the fun out of it for them. As heartbreaking as it was to some of them it meant no more drinking and driving or smoking weed during your home time or changing your CDL from one state to another when you've racked up too many moving violations or running 90 mph with two or three logbooks hidden away.

But in the end isn't our industry and our society better off for the higher safety standards? Of course we are. In the end will setting higher safety standards prevail, regardless of whether or not a few grouchy people decide they won't stand for it? Of course they will. And will we all be better off for it? We most certainly will.

So you can take your stand. Everyone has that right. But just be aware of the fact that the industry is going to move in the direction of better safety standards with or without you. So don't kid yourself into thinking, "We'll show them!!!" No, in fact you won't. You'll just be getting out of the way of higher safety standards being put in place.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm just stating that time and time again companies (not just trucking) have pandered to the vocal minority and implemented something and not gotten feedback from all parties and have not examined the full effect and this has led to disastrous decisions.

Your argument is that this is where the industry is going and there's nothing you can do about it which i guess is somewhat valid because it may be true. But until then people do have a choice who they work for and we can have our opinions too.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm just stating that time and time again companies (not just trucking) have pandered to the vocal minority and implemented something and not gotten feedback from all parties and have not examined the full effect and this has led to disastrous decisions.

Your argument is that this is where the industry is going and there's nothing you can do about it which i guess is somewhat valid because it may be true. But until then people do have a choice who they work for and we can have our opinions too.

And therein lies the only actual "rights" you have, when it comes to cameras. The right to decide, if you are going to continue to work for a company that decides to use them.

The notion that nonunionized drivers, for all these huge companies, are going to rise up together and refuse to operate trucks with cameras, thereby forcing the companies to remove them (or else not have anybody left to drive their trucks) is pure fantasy.

I believe, there are even a few unionized houses, that have cameras in their trucks, and the union hasn't done anything about it either.

As long as the company, sees A financial advantage, via decreased liability, which more than offsets the cost of installing the cameras - we are going to see more, not less of them.

And losing a bunch of drivers, that refuse to drive with cameras, as a small price to pay. Plenty more where they came from.

Rick

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Isaac states:

Sure, the owner of a trucking company and his 3 lawyers and a handful of vocal drivers might think it's a good idea but when 500 drivers quit and your loads are late because you can't find anyone to drive for you, then you'll finally understand.

This "It won't be on my truck" thinking didn't work for electronic logs or automatic transmissions. Do you think cameras will be any different?

Companies do what they can to treat their drivers right, but they also are looking for the most efficient and safest way to do their company business.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
And losing a bunch of drivers, that refuse to drive with cameras, as a small price to pay

If it's a price to pay at all. Might turn out to be quite a profitable investment in newer, more safety conscious drivers. Because I don't think anyone has even tried to make the argument that having a camera won't make you a more safety conscious driver who is more aware of any dangerous habits you may have or dangerous exceptions you might make sometimes. It most certainly will make you more aware, and it will force you to raise your safety standards to those the company has put in place, including policies about eating, talking on the phone, or reaching for things on the floor while you're driving.

So to argue that you don't want a camera for privacy sake isn't kidding anyone. We're truckers for God's sake. We're not a bunch of innocent, shy schoolkids afraid of being seen in our underwear. Get serious. And besides, they've already made it clear you're allowed to cover the camera when you're not driving. You only make the argument against cameras because you're afraid you're going to be held accountable if you get caught doing something dangerous.

we can have our opinions too

And for the trillionth time no one said you can't. I also have the right to my own opinions which may in fact disagree with your opinions. That doesn't mean I'm trying to take away your right to having an opinion.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

Rick, i will agree it will all boil down to money. Always has, always will.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

These discussions always get so crazy that I generally sit back and avoid them. But if there's anyone reading this that might be interested in my "experience" with cameras, which also happens to be what has formed my "opinion" on driving with a camera...

I have stated this once before, but here it is again: That camera has made me a better driver.

My question about cameras then becomes... "Who would not want something in their truck that makes them better at their job?"

We all want an Atlas, a GPS, clear communications from our dispatcher , and anything else that makes us more efficient, safe, and productive drivers. After all, we are getting paid for our performance. If I am doing a better job thanks to that camera, then that camera is actually helping me to boost may pay up a notch. I have actually been able to document, for my own interest, an increase in my bonus monies, which are partly calculated on safety measurements, over the past year of driving with a camera.

So, "feel" what you want, "say" what you want. I've always contended that an "experience" trumps an "argument" every time. My experience has been that not only has that camera made me a better driver by revitalizing my sense of awareness, but it has increased my take home pay!

Now, "How would you feel about becoming a better driver and increasing your pay at the same time?"

After all, some of you have concluded, "It is all about following the money."

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Issac wrote:

I've never driven with a camera so i don't know what it's like.

Yet without any knowledge or experience what so ever, you'll make a stand and "turn-in" your keys if you have no other choice? This is like a little kid refusing to eat broccoli without ever once trying it. Issac name one place you can work, or want to work right now where you are not being watched by a camera or supervisor or customer or all three simultaneously? Work for McDonalds; camera, supervisor and customers are watching you constantly.

Like Rick posted yesterday, if I was the owner or major shareholder of a trucking or transportation company, I would not want any driver working for me who is responsible for public safety and responsible operation of CMV , without acceptance of this technology. Totally okay if you don't like it,...be professional and work with it if you want a paycheck. "Hate me", don't really care. Asset and liability protection and is a critical aspect of running any business, especially one where safety is paramount.

If you want privacy on the job, go into the restroom or pull the curtain on your sleeper.

You are definitely entitled to your opinion, no issue with that at all and entitled to speak it. Yet like so many others before, you offered your opinion on a teaching forum without anything other than emotion supporting it. When that happens in this forum, you can expect to get many opinions (like mine) challenging yours with actual hard facts and experience. I know how this technology works from both a driver and company management perspective and have lived with it for many years. Isaac,... you haven't and your prerogative, "probably never will".

One additional piece of information...and forgive me for not recalling this sooner. I forgot about it...remembered it because one of our DMs was reviewing it with a couple of new guys and I hadn't seen it for a long time. So...

About two years ago (2014 summer) one of our drivers (who I still work with) had a triggered camera event in North Jersey on his way to the Garfield store. Getting to this store requires about 1 mile of driving through a residential neighborhood, cars parked on both sides of the road, typical older urban neighborhood. Precarious. A child ran out in front of his truck chasing a ball...fortunately our driver was able to stop without hitting the child. His camera went off because like anyone would have done, he put his foot through the brake pedal. Fortunately the camera recorded what he was doing the 10 seconds before the hard braking occurred. It captured him scanning on both sides of his truck, going less than 25mph speed limit (sign was visible in the upload)...prepared to stop. Because he was scanning both sides of his pathway, he was able to pick-up first the ball, and then the child playing with it well before he had to stop. Because he was operating at a safe speed he was able to stop long before he hit the child. The camera proved he was doing everything right,...and doing a great job. His safe behavior saved two lives; the child's and figuratively speaking, his. This situation also caused management to find and document a safer route from other locations to this store. It also prompted regular safety briefing on stores with potentially high risk situations. Without the benefit of physical proof, nothing would have been learned from this. Other than the driver, no one would have known.

How does this not benefit the driver? IMO, compelling and clearly supports the value and need for this technology. l have seen other examples of excellent driving captured on an upload, but nothing like that. It's not always about screwing up...and getting called on the carpet for a mistake. We all, drivers and management learned something from this.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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