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Caught on camera? Carriers dabble in filming drivers

| October 30, 2013
DriveCam’s system uses a window-mounted recording device that captures forward and cab-facing video.

Some large U.S. carriers have began implementing a new method in eliminating accidents and absolving themselves and their drivers of fault in accidents that do occur: Video cameras that film the driver and the road while recording time and place on a map using GPS. 


Carriers watching you, and why that might not be the worst thing

Video monitoring is a trickier subject than it originally appears, especially when truck drivers are exonerated for accidents they would otherwise would be blamed for. ...

OD sister site CCJ Technology Editor Aaron Huff has an extended story on the subject on CCJ  — Click here to see it

As noted previously in an Overdrive Extra blog post from earlier this year, fleets have already used the technologies to set the record straight when sued for an accident that was not the fault of their driver. 

These driver risk management systems, as they’re often called, take the form of continuously recording cameras that feature a cab-facing camera and a forward-facing one. As Huff notes, not all of the footage is sent to the truck’s carrier, but when a “risky event” occurs, like a quick lane change, sudden acceleration or deceleration or running a stop sign, short clips are sent to headquarters, showing what happened before, during and after the event.


Reader: ‘I’d drive naked!’ — More on in-cab facial video monitoring

Readers respond to the question "Would you drive if your carrier had a camera pointed at your face or the road?" Sound off yourself here.

Huff’s story also covers driver acceptance — geared toward fleet managers — of the cameras, as they are generally perceived as invasions of privacy. 

Last December, Overdrive reported on the news that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration OK’d the use of the in-cab cameras, which led to an ample amount of OD reader response, including one driver saying he’d drive naked as a means to give his carrier something to look at, along with other drivers chiming in on their take on in-cab cameras. Click here to see that story.

This video from SmartDrive shows what carriers get when the clips are sent and shows a driver having to come to a quick stop to avoid a collision: 

  • manofredearth

    I for one welcome or new robot drivers. They won’t bitch like a spoiled baby about workplace measures that the rest of the us have had in place for decades.

  • Freedom

    As a coach for a company that uses drive cam. I find that they can not give me the distance between vehicles. Are drivers are told they are following to close all the time. I have even seen a vehicle at a dead stop show it was moving 1.6 mph. Per their recording. Until they can give someone the footage between vehicles and have the correct mph. This is a joke and for some drivers it itself is a distraction.

    They teach you to pick a point on the road and single click until they feel they reached that point. They have no idea how many frame they have seen. They call one click a fourth of a sec.. Sample they pick a dark spot in the road (shadow) and count the clicks to get there. They don’t take into consideration that as you near that point it become closer to you.

    Maybe these companies should put them in their own personal vehicles and let a third party ( police department ) judge them. Using the same methods they use on other drivers Just saying. I bet not one of them would go for it for a years.

    We are loosing more personal rights and freedom once again.

  • james

    I am afraid so people that get into otr trucking have no choice

  • Get Real

    Tom is an idiot. The restroom is company property and so is the toilet. Would Tom like it if they stuck a camera up his ass to see how much he shits? strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.