How Do You Feel About Driver Facing Cameras?

Topic 17788 | Page 8

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Well, you contradicted yourself quite a bit but I'm not too worried about that. I think everyone else caught it too so I don't have to point it out phrase by phrase. But this right here is exactly why they're putting cameras in trucks and I appreciate your honesty:

I did, however, suggest that what the camera does, is like having your boss looking over your shoulder. Just like the boss could appear at any moment and check out what you're up to, the camera could activate at any moment, recording what you were up to at that moment. And, heaven forbid, you might be eating an Oreo, or talking on your hands free phone (yes, more and more companies are forbidding this as well).

This camera is taking away some of the little pleasures of being an OTR driver. I used to enjoy getting rolling down the big road on a nice, sunny morning, with my first cup of coffee and a hands free phone call to my wife. Well, now, thanks to the camera that little pleasure could land me in a lot of hot water with my company.

So I completely understand why you don't want cameras in the truck. It's exactly why they are putting cameras in trucks. Because the safety standards that companies want you to live up to is higher than the ones you're willing to set for yourself. So they have to force people to do it.

I totally get it.

You feel that if you've been a safe driver they should leave you alone. The company feels they need to be proactive about it and that you should always be willing to prove you're handling your rig to the highest standards at all times.

I totally understand both sides. Unfortunately it's the company's side that is obviously right. The people responsible for safety in this industry absolutely can not take the attitude that if something catastrophic hasn't happened to a driver yet then everything must be fine and we can leave him alone. The same way a driver can't take that attitude. In fact, that's one of the reason that drivers with 6 - 12 months experience are more likely to get in big wrecks than people with 0 - 6 months experience. Some people get too comfortable too quickly and get in over their heads.

So drivers have to be on guard every second they are behind that wheel. One moment of inattention and people die. When the technology exists that will require drivers to be safer than ever before it simply has to be implemented, and it will be. You'll be able to dodge it for a while I'm sure. Maybe forever. It may never become law.

But my point is that anyone who doesn't want a camera in the truck feels that way for one genuine reason only - they're afraid they'll screw up and won't be able to lie their way out of it. It will all be there in full sound and color for the world to see.

I, myself do not like having people looking over my shoulder. I live way out in the country by myself because I love privacy. So I get all that. But when it comes to protecting the innocent families out there on the highways you simply have to do everything in your power to make it as safe as possible.

Complacency is extremely dangerous.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

This is kind of interesting to me to see all this… (I apologise if I repeat anything that has already been said. I was only able to read through so much of the thread but still want to offer my reply on this subject.)

Bus operators have been dealing with drivecam and driver-facing cameras for years now across most systems. They're a fact of life. Sometimes they even do protect the operator and prove the operator didn't do anything wrong in the case of an incident, or prove that the operator did everything that they possibly could to prevent the accident from happening and it happened anyway.

And the other fact of the matter is that while there is paranoia about the cameras potentially activating at any time because they are "always on" and "always recording" that footage is stored in a buffer.

Most of the dual driver/road facing cameras go through a system or an external company rather than someone in the company office having a button with which they can magically spy on someone. The event has to activate the camera and then it saves a preset number of seconds before and after, for a video clip that ends up less than a minute long. That clip then has to go be reviewed by the external company, who have to see something wrong with it before it ever ends up in the hands of your manager/safety manager/office/whomever.

The thing that my trainers at my current company and previous companies told me is this: Don't do anything blatantly wrong, and you won't have anything to fear from it.

And I think it's probably pretty applicable in trucking, too.

K.R.'s Comment
member avatar

Additionally, because can't edit my post, some continuation as to how I feel about the cameras:

Indifferent, when it comes to trucking.

When it comes to having the cameras on the bus, I'm really quite fond of them. More than once I've been able to trigger the camera to record when I had a particularly problematic passenger or when I was facing a hazardous road condition that I was unsure of. It's a useful tool, but when it comes down to it it is just that, a tool.

Nardy G.'s Comment
member avatar

Well wow, this has been an eye opening thread. I'm new to the site and don't start my CDL training until next week, so my opinion is worth nil here. I will say that it actually is Swift that I am going to be with for the first 13 months of a hopefully long career in the industry and ever since I became aware of the camera issue, it's weighed on my mind a bit. Obviously I had no "intentions" to do anything that might land me in hot water with my employer, but I did have some feelings on the hot topic of privacy. Reading all of this has definitely made me feel a bit more at ease with the idea, I can't wait to get to orientation after CDL training and hearing the particulars of the system.

I have a question though and forgive me if it comes across as naive. I understand that one should not be trying to eat a meal while driving but there was a comment referring to Oreos and getting called in to discuss it. Am I to understand that there is to be NO eating or drinking, while the wheels are turning? We should be waiting for fueling times or break? I suppose I'll learn some things at school and with my trainer concerning real world situations.

You guys have built an amazing tool here with this site and I'm grateful to have access to it.

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.
Jeffrey C.'s Comment
member avatar

My question is what privacy? You're in the cab of a truck with windows. There is no privacy in that situation. Anybody who wants to can look through those windows and see you. Hell, if they want they can photograph or film you and there is no invasion of privacy because their is no privacy. Once you go into the sleeper and pull the curtain in the other hand, now there is privacy. And guess what the can can't see you there. So again there is no invasion of privacy.

Easy way to think of it, in public-no privacy, in private-privacy.

So, just a question for you about that from a newbie myself. Why are only certain places in the truck off limits? What if companies decided to implement cameras in the entire truck that include the sleepers? My point is that if you are in your truck and either on duty or off duty, you are still in the COMPANY equipment at some point. So, don't they have a right to record whether or not your on or off duty? Where exactly is the line in the tractor - the curtain?

I donno. Seems as if there is a splitting of hairs with all of this "they can record me in this spot, but not in this spot", or "they can record me up until 6:00am, when I take my 10, but after 6:00am, I am covering the camera until 4:00pm". To me, if you are in that truck, no matter in the sleeper or not, and I am a company CEO trying to find out if you are safe, then there is NO privacy involved. How do I know if you are not getting high on your 10 behind the curtain?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

That's easy. The sleeper is your living space. As long as you have your curtain pulled shut, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Putting a camera back there would bee like putting a camera in the restrooms at the office, not gonna happen.

The can on the other hand is essentially your office, and yes the company can put cameras there. You also do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy there.

Tim E.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but if they have driver facing cameras, do they have cameras facing out in front of truck as well, operating at the same time? Feel all would be more justifiable!!

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but if they have driver facing cameras, do they have cameras facing out in front of truck as well, operating at the same time? Feel all would be more justifiable!!

There is a front facing camera too. But cameras looking out the front are not an issue at all. In fact, many drivers have their own front-facing cameras.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Nardy asked:

Am I to understand that there is to be NO eating or drinking, while the wheels are turning?

That is correct. Although I do sip water or coffee, occasionally put a cookie in my mouth while I am driving, I am extremely careful about it.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Nardy asked:

double-quotes-start.png

Am I to understand that there is to be NO eating or drinking, while the wheels are turning?

double-quotes-end.png

That is correct. Although I do sip water or coffee, occasionally put a cookie in my mouth while I am driving, I am extremely careful about it.

Putting cookies in your mouth is how you ended up with the first Oreo conversation, right?

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