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Agency allows in-cab camera monitoring to continue

| December 03, 2012

A company conducting research on behalf of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has received an exemption to install windshield-mounted camera-based monitoring systems in up to 500 commercial motor vehicles.

On July 23, agency officials granted the Virginia-based Transecurity a 90-day waiver to place an on-board monitoring system near the bottom of windshields. The FMCSA requires that antennas, transponders and similar devices not be more than 6 inches below the top of the windshield and outside the area swept by the windshield wipers and the driver’s sight lines to the road.

Transecurity said the exemption was necessary “because the safety equipment must have a clear forward facing view of the road, and low enough to accurately scan facial features for detection of impaired driving.”

The FMCSA published a request for comments Aug. 23 on the commercial on-board safety product company application. After receiving no comments, the agency announced it had granted a two-year exemption in the Nov. 28 Federal Register.

Agency representatives stated confidence that allowing the exemption should not decrease safety. Additionally, without the exemption, it would be unable to test this system.

Carriers participating in the testing are the North Carolina carriers Eagle Transport and H&W Trucking; Associated Grocers of Louisiana; AM Express of Michigan and a bus company.

  • Robert

    Instead of watching drivers of the truck, it should be watching traffic. I will never drive for a company that uses this.

  • Hellbent

    If this is for detecting fatigue that’s a joke! Recording me going to sleep at the wheel wont wake me up. I guess you’re exempt if you’re a botox patient or if you naturally look tired all the time? What is this thing really for? It should be facing the other way so it can record who really causes the majority of accidents. The police use dash-cameras to record evidence. Try turning the camera around on them and watch how fast that idea go up in smoke. Drivers are losing more and more of they’re rights and they’re money everyday.

  • Aegis53

    I for one have had it with the FMCSA and its big brother mentality. We live in our trucks and I have no intention of driving any truck that has an onboard video camera that monitors the inside of my truck. Let somebody else move the freight guys. Don’t allow them to continue down this road. Just say no!

  • 4btrucking

    Unbelievable.. Total invasion of privacy. Do companies install cameras at their employees desk to make sure thay’re working? NO! This is goingf way too far….

  • Not Hellbent

    If Hellbent and Robert would actually READ the entire piece, he/she may notice it mentions a forward facing camera also. At least, that is my understanding when it states “the equipment must have a clear forward facing view of the road”.

  • j c p

    Micro management where employees can be watched at all times does nothing but let employees know how much they are distrusted. To be treated in such a manner is an insult to any honest hard working person. If i distrust my drivers so much that I need that kind of servalence on them I will replace them and I refuse to insult my other drivers with such equipment. I also would not work for any employer that treated me in such a distrustfull manner.

  • bubbie

    It’s been an ongoing argument with them regarding “big brother”. Just like idling to be able to hear and/or air condition your truck. Why doesn’t the FMCSA people try living in their homes with no heat or a/c?? Now, why don’t they install the same cameras in THEIR bedrooms? Because that is exactly what they want truckers to do. I would NEVER ~ NEVER ~ allow this in my truck! Let the FMCSA look at the real causes of most accidents, etc? It’s not the trucker.

  • Marty Marsh

    Yes you are correct, they don’t need to watch you because they already do that with the computer in your truck.

  • Big Guy

    Need to be watching those Dispatchers and crooked carriers!

  • MarionCDavies

    It’s actually worse than it sounds. Check out the company’s “products” page:

  • Tim Russell

    I sent that company a very rude email about how a lot of drivers feel and what will happen… we as truckers need to get past our bs and start banning together on S*** like this.

  • Ann

    We run a live truck cam that we broadcast on the web, and the camera is pointed out the front windshield. Several other drivers we know have cams pointed out the even saved a driver from a ticket when a four wheeler lied about what lane she was in and clipped his front bumper! There are uses for a cam, but to force one in the cab on a driver…I don’t agree.

  • BigRig TruckinMan

    some taxi companies do

  • No Reform

    Gordon Trucking also had 50 cameras in their trucks doing this “testing” which is always BEFORE they cram it into the trucker’s anus.

  • No Reform

    We got along fine before they invented this P.O.S.
    If ya need this much “monitoring” just park the trucks and open another business.

  • Questtut

    Know your rights….
    no company can video, let alone audio record in the cab of a truck with a sleeper unit. Every state has laws prohibiting the use of video recording devices in an area where privacy can be expected, these places include, restrooms, locker rooms, apartments, and hotel rooms, and sleep falls under apartment or hotel style room. Furthermore, they cannot record audio, without the permission of one or all parties in a conversation (depending on the state). Every company I have read that is using these cameras has not yet obtained the proper permission from all those people, and I’m sure if u spoke to my wife, she would never give permission to be recorded.

  • Little Trucker

    I am totally with you on this ! My husband and I live in our truck and there are certain things that does not need a camera on them ! Also to have auto that records conversation has gotten us both upset ! We will be getting out of this truck as soon as we get back to the yard and take one without a camera ! This along with wingman installed is about to drive us crazy !!! Enough !!! This just does not seem legal !

  • Little Trucker

    Where can I find the law stating this ? We are hating that we have a camera in our cab where we sleep eat and do what husband and wives do ! It’s our home ! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.