In-cab filming of drivers for disciplinary reasons OK’d by Calif. attorney general

| February 21, 2014

California’s attorney general has concluded carriers contracting companies that provide continuous video of drivers may use this data for disciplinary purposes.

Trucking executives have not violated state code if they take action against an employee based on film provided by these third-party companies. A carrier can contract a third-party business to film and inspect video for the “for sole benefit of the driver’s employer,” Kamala Harris stated.

Related

Caught on camera? Carriers dabble in filming drivers

Some carriers have started using a new method in eliminating accidents and absolving themselves of fault in accidents that do occur: Video cameras that film ...

Companies record with front-facing and/or driver-facing video cameras in a continuous loop until a trigger event, such as a driver braking hard or swerving. State code allows the recorder to “store no more than 30 seconds before and after a triggering event.” If the video is used for training or disciplinary purposes, the recording is available to the driver or the driver’s bargaining representative.

Harris issued the Feb. 13 opinion upon request from Sen. Jerry Hill. The Democrat caucus chairman had asked if discipline of drivers based on contracted third-party’s video would considered a misdemeanor under a 1929 state statute prohibiting blacklisting.

This California law prohibits fingerprinting or photographing employees and job applicants for the purpose of interfering with future employment. The statute fell out of use after the National Labor Relations Act was enacted in 1935, aimed at protecting workplace rights.

Harris’ opinion noted recent changes in state and federal law regarding the recorders.

Related

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.

Last spring, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted a two-year extension of an exemption allowing these recorders to be attached to truck windshields.

The exemption had been requested by Lytx, formerly DriveCam, a leading provider driver safety and compliance systems. 

In 2012, California lawmakers amended state code to allow attachments to windshields or rear mirrors. The exemption allows a “video event recorder with the capability of monitoring driver performance to improve driver safety.”

Click here to see more information on California law regarding recorders and data from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

While OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions, it does not welcome comments reflecting racism, vulgarity or spam. Violations of this policy can be grounds for removal of a comment or banning a user from the comments system.

  • haller

    A camera on every office worker in America. A camera on every street corner in America. A camera on every blue collar worker in America. BUT NO cameras on the rich and wealthy. No cameras on the privileged. No cameras on the cops. No cameras on the people who makeup these stupid cameras rules so the can watch us..Is it possible the white collar BUSINESS people who want these camera rules own a camera company? Or are they ??

  • haller

    10-4 .. United we stand , divided we fall , Believe me the trucking industry in America NEEDS the TEAMSTERS so bad right NOW it’s unbelievable. Cameras on the drivers, sleeping with masks on our faces, cops hunting us so they can get extra monies for their county or state. Getting blamed for every accident because we have $1,000,000 insurance. Shippers and receivers using trucks to take up the slack in their mismanaged companies, (it’s common practice to “let the trucker wait”). Getting Blamed for EVERYTHING and yet we get the job done. What’s next, giving the American Trucking jobs to people who are not Americans and paying us $10 per hour.

  • haller

    WE stupid truckers should all be DISCIPLINED , then financially PUNISHED and after years of trying to crawl our way back up the common-person ladder so as to please our fat bosses taken out back and shot.. Oh, I’m so sorry, does this sound like Germany in the years past or like Mother Russia, Venezuela, Africa, Mexico, Chili, Jamaica, etc…

  • haller

    what boat did you fall off of??

  • haller

    You’re using the word SIR too much, which means you work in an office or you ‘r a 4-wheeler.. Also you are using big words and your spelling is impeccable…your nuts!

  • Ken Nilsen

    At least I can use my real name on here. Most of the posters here are not professionals and hide behind cb handles. I am not a troll as you put it. I have been driving for 23 years, 15 as an owner operator. So far no one can dispute the facts that I placed in my original post. You can use your technological cb here and call names and act like whatever, but you are incapable of taking each fact and providing meaningful debate.

  • Ken Nilsen

    Please provide a meaningful discussion of the facts sir. If you are intellectually capable of doing so.

  • Mind Games

    These big bad people run away from the law instead choosing to run up on the driver??? Unbelievable!!!
    It’s almost like they are telling drivers ya sack ain’t big enough so shut ya mouth stop crying and if ya don’t like it you can just go home.
    Well I don’t know about the man enough part and or the crying but home and well I gotta say this I sleep well and I eat well and I have several jobs lined up some are driving some non driving and well the ones that are driving I told them no cameras and if they have em well they can shove their trucks into a small dark hole.
    As far as non driving I can make just as much if not more than driving and I don’t hafta with Big Brother or Big Business. May work a little harder but looking on the brightside I may have a shot at school again to make even more money.
    If I stick with the non driving job from time to time I’ll put in for a driving job and the first question will be do you have cameras in your truck and if the answer is yes I will find great pleasure hanging up in the recruiters faces.
    And if push comes to shove I’ll apply for SSD/SSI and jack the federal reserve and jack some taxes up on the rich and laugh all the way to the bank.
    People either way we truckers win we leave trucking not only will the feds and or rich get jacked so will Wall Street!
    They can’t tighten the noose without hanging themselves along with us and especially the two faced politicians!

  • Mind Games

    Now watch this… For years California has a had a law where you could not have anything stuck to your window car or truck(At least not on your right side) but the Corporations have more rights than people and so with a bug in the right person’s ear and a bribe here and there PRESTO the corporation gets what it wants!
    Welcome to 1984…

  • Mind Games

    As long as you guys continue to work for these types of companies this will continue.
    Quit those large companies put them under and watch the others scatter like water bugs!!!
    For the most part its the large companies many medium sized and a few small companies that push for this garbage by donating to you know who and if you guys would be willing to put up with a little inconvenience and go to smaller companies and or temporarily leave driving this would turn around quick!

  • Go Navy

    Really? You put up with BS and its someone else’s fault? Politics of victimology and most truckers today suck that up. Nothing honorable in that Tom T.

  • Go Navy

    “only a matter of time?” You’ve obviously bought into the victimhood mentality. It’s tiresome hearing so-called businessmen claim of not having two nickels to rub together. Here’s an idea, call 1-800-444-5791, they’ll give you a shoulder to cry on and tell you it’s not your fault that you can’t make money in this business – after-all, its a conspiracy….

  • Go Navy

    Oh, and Tom T. don’t hide behind the flag attempting to make some obscure point that your inability to make money is the fault of faceless Washington bureaucrats…that is pathetic.

  • Tom T

    I don`t care what name you use I am only interested in your content. I`ll take your challenge.Your argument is based on an invalid description of the article. You stated “there is no government demanding you put cameras in your truck” you stated this is a” private company that owns and operates the truck and wants to contract with a private company”. I have read the article as you so arrogantly suggested we do and it states that this issue was challenged by a state senator who suspected it violated Calif. statues and requested a review by the state attorney general. It has not yet proceed to a court challenge however I suspect it stands a good chance on the grounds of violation of the 5th Amendment to Constitution i.e. self incrimination if it were used against a driver to find fault in a fatal accident. Your analogy of workers in a plant or a Mc.Donalds dose not involve the reputation, criminal record or life and death issues and is a poor, if not ludicrous comparison. The Supreme Court recently ruled on the placement of GPS devices on a suspects vehicle or any vehicle simply because there was a preponderance of wrong doing. As far as using your real name on the internet, I value my privacy and security particularly in this age of hacking information and the fact that you don`t speaks volumes to your intellectual level. I have more in depth arguments against your assertion but I feel as though I`d only be wasting my time.

  • Tom T

    First of all, you incorrectly stated I said I was a victim. Don`t put words in my mouth. Read the comment. Second of all. I don`t hide behind the flag, I served, end of story. I am retired pal. I made my money. I simply point out what needs to be changed for the benefit of truckers and people like you who go along just
    to get along are exactly what is wrong with this country. If your willing to sit back and let them do whatever they to you, be my guest. I accepted my challenges for 45 yrs and retired with a nice income. Quoting the Marine Corps motto still dose not have anything to do with the problems this country faces as you did in your first comment if you actually in the Navy you would know that. Good luck, your gonna need it. You will have a lot more to put up with in the future as long as you keep looking the other way.

  • Tom T

    I am retired pal. I made mine and never said I was a victim. Read the comment. I have a nice retirement income after 45 yrs. Met the challenges head on but if I can help somebody else make thing better, I will. Semper Fi still dose not have anything to do with the problems we face in this country and burying your head somewhere where the sun dose not shine in not going to change anything.

  • Ken Nilsen

    You are incorrect on several points. I will provide the text and the argument for you as you are very confused.

    1. The state senator challenged it based on a statute that prevents blacklisting which meant he had little to no ground to stand on and the attorney general agreed with the company that it was invalid.

    2. The fifth amendment does not have standing here.

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Now this strictly applies to a restriction on the Federal Government and not on a private entity. A violation of company policy does not constitute a crime under penal codes. Therefore, your argument for the fifth amendment does not apply.

    3. Self-incrimination only applies under oath in a criminal case. In the case of a company using cameras in trucks that they own, and you voluntarily get into said equipment knowing that you are being recorded, then you have willingly submitted to the act. Now, if the camera was hidden and you were not made aware of the camera and the company took civil or criminal action against you then the wiretapping laws apply there and it becomes a federal crime at that point and the state no longer has jurisdiction.

    My last point is that I think it is funny that so many of the commenters on this board say they do not want government regulation and intrusion into their job until it is about something they do not like, then they want government involved. They really cannot have it both ways.

    Thanks for being willing to debate and at least try to use facts. Just saying someone is high, or a shill does not do well for an argument point. I understand people do not like to be watched when they are working, but I do not care where you are employed you will always have a boss, and if you are self employed and work within the walls and confines of your home then you have some privacy depending on the nature of the work. have a good day sir!

  • Tom T

    Unlike the “me first, get out of my way” generation of todays truck drivers, the old timers identified the problems got together and stood up for our rights. That`s not an obscure point pal, that`s history. I lived through the O/O strikes back in the 70`s when trucks closed down 80 in Penna. till the government met with us. Standing up for what you believe in and fighting for it take guts and courage and sacrifice. Unlike today, we cared for other drivers and helped out where we could. That my friend is honorable, not pathetic. Something sorely missing in todays truck drivers.

  • jojo

    Many of us realize that an OTR Driver is basically at work the entire time that they are any where USA trying to make a living.
    Pay a Co OTR Driver for all time spent AT work. Only then will they have the right to install 24hr surveillance camera’s in their trucks.

    “Companies record with front-facing and/or driver-facing video cameras in a continuous loop until a trigger event, such as a driver braking hard or swerving.”

    Does masturbation qualify as a triggering event?

    “State code allows the recorder to “store no more than 30 seconds before and after a triggering event.”

    Is Cali allowing 24hr continuous video monitoring?
    With EOBR’s legally allowing them to monitor the driver 24hrs with very little driver complaint I wonder if 24hr video surveillance is the next step. I’ve heard that insurance companies are giving discounts for rear facing cameras.
    Register to vote and then VOTE Drivers. Plan to go home so that you may do so! It is not against the law to exercise your right to VOTE! I know where I’ll be 2 or 3 days before ELECTION DAY.

  • mousekiller

    “In 2012, California lawmakers amended state code to allow attachments to
    windshields or rear mirrors. The exemption allows a “video event recorder with the capability of monitoring driver performance to improve drivers safety.” That is all after the fact. It will not improve safety while the drivers is at work driving. It will be distracting to the driver. It will be monitored by people that have no clue but will still make decisions.based on the drivers sticking his tongue out or picking his nose. It is so blame can be placed on the driver after the fact. to be more to the point . It is for nothing more than control. . Now it seems drivers are not hired because they are safe, responsible, on time. The trend is they are less qualified today so they can be robotized. Do as your told, dont argue. shut up and drive. the snow is not that bad.

  • guest

    yes…truck drivers NEED to be Monitored and Disciplined…as if they are 2 year olds….perhaps some Spanking is in order??

  • mousekiller

    A camera in the truck not only looking forward but at the driver.
    So we have a safe driver, I will call him Joe. that looks out the right side window for signs of trouble and the scans his dash checking is gauges the the left window looking at traffic and the changes since the last glance then looking forward again. He repeats this about every 15 or so seconds. He is constantly aware of his surroundings and his engine.. Now the problem with safe driver Joe. and the driver facing camera. Some nearly minimum wage clown sitting in an office thinks Safe driver Joe is being distracted because he is not looking straight out the windshield. So Mr or miss clown calls him into the office to tell him he is unsafe because he is distracted and fires him. Why? Because Mr or miss clown is not a safe driver nor do they understand anything about the job we do and how we do it..

    Now granted I will say it may improve in some small amount some drivers habits behind the wheel. They may stop texting, reading books while driving, better use of turn signals and less tailgating. But those drivers are in the minority of drivers. No real benefit to the industry due to the small numbers.

  • Jesse

    Here is what drive cam = more time, more sitting, more fuel. Just take more time and let your company wonder why your trips are longer and why fuel costs increased. You as an operator can no longer drive normally anymore; now you have to make sure the camera “hot potato” doesn’t go off. Stay Way Way back from other cars. Don’t change lanes without taking twice a long as before, etc. Stop at stop signs for a full 10 seconds and let everybody else go before you do.. I rode Greyhound (with drive cam) and my trip took 1 hour longer than my friend who took another bus that left 30 minutes after mine (his did not have drive cam) and he also got to New York City 30 minutes before I did.

  • Jesse

    A retarder can also cause a triggering event. Is that legal when retarders are setting the cameras off everyday, and not the driver?

  • Jesse

    FINALLY, YOU CAN FILE A TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PSYCH CLAIM INJURY AGAINST YOUR EMPLOYER (IF YOU HAVE TOO MANY STRESS ISSUES WITH DRIVE CAM & YOUR MANAGER’S MONOLOGUES ). A PSYCHIATRIST WOULD SURE AGREE THAT THIS HAS GONE TOO FAR. DRIVE CAM IS TOO SENSITIVE AND GOES OFF TO EASILY. I ONLY SUPPORT CAMERAS USED FOR COLLISION PURPOSES ONLY, NOT TRIGGERING EVENTS.

  • Pingback: California Says: Driver-Facing Camera Not A Privacy Violation