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

| December 06, 2012

Readers responded in a big way to Jill Dunn’s story on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s continuing waiver of some regs in order that a test of a Transecurity road- and driver-monitoring device could continue at a few fleets around the nation. The device needs a clear sight-line of the road ahead and — the kicker — the drivers’ face in order to function, reading signs of “impaired driving” in facial features.

It’s fairly common for owner-operators and fleets to install dash cams to monitor the road ahead. “I want a dash cam in my truck,” wrote Cathy Guignet, responding to the question posed on Overdrive‘s Facebook page attendant to the story on Monday: Would you drive if your carrier had a camera pointed at your face or the road? In the case of an accident, Guignet added, I would have proof that it wasn’t my fault. But I don’t want it pointed at me.”

Most of the responses to the question addressed that latter function and ran the gamut from dead-serious objections to invasions of driver privacy to, well, hilarity.

“No,” wrote Daniel Snyder. “I would have to hang it up if someone is going to watch me all day. Whatever happened to being your own boss on the wide-open road? Onboard computers and cameras take the fun out of driving.”

Les Rush, referencing a carrier he knew of that had cameras in its trucks today and had “a hard time keeping drivers,” added that “there are too many cameras in the world. Soon, the only jobs left will be to watch the cameras.”

Ann Burt, known for she and owner-operator RandyMoyano’s own dash cam, which caught a tornado live on video briefly during the big late April 2011 outbreak in the Southeast, suggested a benefit in broadcasting the driving life to the public: “We have our own camera, and we even broadcast to the public! Everyone can see what we do, and there is even chat so you can ask questions.”

Daycab operator Jeremy Hollander noted his company has had “cameras in our trucks for almost a year. They point out to the front of the truck. It also points at me . I don’t mind it. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what do you have to worry about? I would not want a camera pointed at me if I lived in the truck. Check out Drivecam.com. This is the camera pointed at me every night.”

Ultimately, quips like this one ended the serious discussion: “They would have to have a bleep button — I’d play the rudest music I could find,” wrote Tim Dent.

And Jim Copeland: “I’d drive naked!”

You can find the full discussion here.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/andrea.sitlerphd Andrea Sitler

    Invasion. Not practical. I don’t blame the driver who said he would drive naked. It just makes a point. I can see some type of camera monitoring the road if your rig is “acting” erratic. I cannot see a constant monitoring of the roadway. Like the other posters said, “there are plenty of cameras there already”. Pointed at the driver – NO! That is just creepy. Short monitoring periods of random drivers or drivers with cause; possibly but not a permanent fixture. Trust your drivers or don’t employ them. This is not a nation of spy on thy neighbor. This is too far!

  • HeavyHauler

    I’ve long considered putting dashcams in my trucks. The surface benifits and liabilities are obvious. However there is an implied message that broadcasts to every driver and potential customer. It says that the owner of this truck needs evidence. It implies a lack of faith in the driver’s word, profesionalism, and to a lesser extent in the truck owner’s own safety policies and hiring practices. I’ve discussed the topic with a few of my customers and they too are sceptical. Many do not want a constant recording device on their property, some will absolutely not allow it and require it to be removed, deactivated and left with security or off premises. I had my first serious accident in 18 years and 2.5 million miles two weeks ago. The injuries sustained were of the most serious variety and the circumstances were less than ideal for me. Yet with some basic investigation, the keeping of proper records and documentation and a clear pictoral history of the equipment, enviroment, weather conditions etc. and gathering witness statements promptly and professionaly the incident was deamed non preventable in short order. A dashcam would not have captured the vehicle that struck me before, during, or after the colision. If you trust your judgement to hire true professionals and trust those professionals to do their jobs to the highest standards I’ve decided a dashcam is a much greater liability than benifit.

  • Debieve

    i do drive naked it’s my prerogative ! My home is my truck and cameras are totally invading privacy..what kind of perverts want to watch a drivers every move!

  • EF

    Debieve asks the million dollar question. What kind of creepy company safety mgrs want to watch their drivers every move?? Look, company drivers have a type of relationship with their employers similiar to the kind of relationship a renter of a home or apartment has with their landlord. You pay your rent, abide by the contract and you are left alone by the landlord. You enjoy your privacy free of duress and harassment.
    Likewise trucking companies hire and pay drivers to occupy their trucks for the sole purpose of picking up and delivering freight in a safe and reasonable manner. That’s it!! But for OTR drivers, they must live in their trucks, and that pesky fact changes the dynamics and nature of the job. The occupant of the truck must be free of the invasive watching and recording eye of the camera! As well as auditory recording! This kind of camera in your face monitoring&recording is akin to a office manager standing over his or her secretary all day long. And that could be deemed harassment!
    Furthermore the truck can go from public to private anytime and anywhere the driver decides to stop for a break at any moments notice. Bottom line, STOP THESE CORPORATE DRIVEN REGULATIONS TARGETED TOWARD WORKERS(ie DRIVERS)and please LEAVE US ALONE!!
    EFMcHenry

  • EF

    The ”That is just creepy” and ”This is not a nation of sly on thy neighbor” pretty much sum up my sentiments as well! Good comment.
    EF

  • Shawn Hubbbard

    As a company driver, I have looked into purchasing a camera to record what other drivers are doing, and to protect myself from liability. I KNOW I’m a safe driver, its the other drivers that concern me, and the fact that many will lie when push comes to shove. If a company is hiring drivers who they have to monitor like babies, maybe the company needs to look at their own hiring practices. The day I have a camera pointed at me is the day I quit driving.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allen.griggs.58 Allen Griggs

    I will make them a deal. When the company installs cameras in every office and cubical. All the service bays and parking lot. Then allows me to watch the feed live, at will, 24 hours a day. Then I would allow a camera in the truck for outward viewing.

  • Hellbent

    I totally dissagree with cameras in the cab pointed at me because that is no different than having cameras in the bathroom (in principle). Heavyhauler said “a dash cam is more of a liability and would not have recorded his accident” Thats because his system is set up like a police cam limited to collect evidence only in the front. His camera may not have helped him but it was not a liability either because it didn’t make him uncomfortable, invade his personal privacy or cause harm to him or his case. Its more of a liability not to have video security. I have cameras all over my truck pointed front and back and side to side but NOT pointed inside the cab. The cameras puts me ahead of the curve for security. In many cases when used correctly, the camera becomes your only witness in court. On my truck cameras deture drivers from stealing and selling fuel, durring a roadside inspection it’s all recorded just in case the DOT does something illegal then lie about it in court. My cameras provide 360 degree security recording agressive drivers, possible vandilism and other criminal activity. I can monitor my load, A car side-swipes you, he tells the police that the truck driver did it. In most cases the truck driver will lose! but video will vindicate the driver. I love the fact that I can see on my monitor who is knocking on my truck door at 3am (lot lizards, robbers, etc) while in in my bunk remember Jason,s law? He may have had time to react if he had seen them first.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kurt.keilhofer Kurt Keilhofer

    I would gladly be FOR having a camera in the truck, BUT only under one condition, and that being that every illegal thing that it caught 4 wheelers doing in front of me was prosecuted. And since that will never happen I won’t have one.

  • EF

    Todd thx again for bringing us all up to speed on the, well, forgive me here, but huh, ”War On Drivers.” This new camera proposition really touched a nerve. But my prior comments, i think still stand.
    Imagine you sign a lease or rental agreement, always pay timely to find yourself being either
    a.) constantly visited by the landlord or
    b.) all of a sudden subjected to the installation cameras in all the rooms inside
    This all in the name of asset protection or the protection of third parties.
    I mean come on what’s next? Electrodes attached to the forehead and chest to check heart and respiratory rates?? I hate to be negative but this and all recent regulations are all part of a ”The War On Drivers!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Evans/100001312194470 William Evans

    Voyer-cam is just another attempt by trucking companies to gain leverage against the drivers for liability purposes. I will not drive for such companies and I will probably leave the industry soon because of mission creep with the government regulators and now efforts by carriers to skirt liability issues and impose rediculous working condition upon their valued employees. Being a trucker is like being in an abusive relationship. Pay truckers hourly and half the issues regarding safety will vanish.

  • Marty Marsh

    There is already a camera pointed at you, it’s in your computer.They know EVERYTHING that goes on in your truck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Total Dominance is what they want..you are a Robot. “They” will think for you..Sweat Shop on wheels…non of that independence and Freedom of the open road stuff….cops are from the PRISON SYSTEM..and so are a lot of dispatchers and company “bosses”….YOU just need to OBEY, CONFORM< COMPLY, and do as YOU are ordered….THAT is the future of trucking and lots of other industries…you dont like it? You will be replaced with an ILLEGAL ALIEN….look in any truck in the Southwest…there is YOUR replacement…more than willing to do all these things..he uses all fake documentation and can run back to his home country any time he wants……and is saving his money to Retire….on U.S. money……..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    YEP the CREEPS in those offices are ALOT weirder than you think….they are SADISTS…and want to laugh at you…ridicule you…and have a good laugh amongst themselves when a driver is injured or does in an accident….they are NOT nice people..they are programmed servants of the Hammer Fisted Rich Man who want only MONEY…and YOU are the chump that is going to get that MONEY for him and his boys……..yealets Gawk at the guy or gal in truckxxxx….ahahahahah look at that sucker!!!!!! ahahahahaah!! If YOU were in the office you would see….like looking at trained monkeys!!!! ahahahahahah. I believe THIS is the mindset of the “bosses”…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Abusive…and Leaving this stinking “business”….very smart ideas….implement ASAP…enuff is enuff. Industry has gone WAY too far in Orwellian Nightmare tactics.

  • Smokey

    No thanks. Its a violation of my right to privacy not to mention invading my home. That rig is not just a truck. Its my office my home and my livelihood.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    These FACIAL…cameras are a great idea..just what every driver needs..a good “facial”….LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    There are ALOT of gay dispatchers, managers, etc who would LOVE to watch a driver’s every move….if you drive nude or with no shirt..you will get a “raise”……..lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Si Senyor….me gusta camera…….

  • mousekiller

    Kurt, well said and a very good demand. good idea.

  • mousekiller

    Dash cams do have a benefit other than how some look at it. It can save a driver from being charged for it if involved in an accident. It can if a good one prove you did nothing wrong. It records the phantom car that cut you off on a icy road. The stupid driver that passes and cuts in to exit 15 feet in front of you at 70 mph. It can be beneficial to the driver and the company from a liability point. However to have a camera watching the driver is going to reduce the driving work force by a good percentage. How about putting them in all vehicles. Since it has been proven several times that 85% to 88% of car truck accidents are caused by the drivers of cars this will probably prove it is more like 95 %. then again the car drivers will make demands on the legislators to prevent it. This camera, EOBR and CSA BS is upon us due to our lack of cleaning up our own industry over the last 15 or so years. We are to share the blame. It is not all the companies fault. Far too many drivers are of the dumpster diver caliber today. Talk like a dumpster diver, dress like a dumpster diver, Act like a dumpster diver .You are a dumpster diver. And many drive like they are driving a dumpster.

  • mousekiller

    No Marty. Not true. The only camera is in a bag, None in my computer. Just a dash cam facing out. I do have a kill switch on the you know what. I still do paper logs and will until I retire. I will not be a robot or a do as your told driver.
    The watcher only know what I post. Not what I wear or how I shift or eat my Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich.

  • martymarsh

    You are welcome to believe anything thing you like.

  • gary d

    I would not drive for a company that installed them in my truck, it would give them the power to give you citations and more and more safety meetings with a video of you doing something they have no business seeing. they need to mind the business end of it and leave the driving to the drivers. I would ok if the cameras took video of the sides and front of the truck but not the interior and my privacy..

  • Sharon Penix

    School bus drivers have been on video for years. As many as 5 cameras on a bus. You learn to think about every word you say and everything you do. Often a video protects the driver.

  • easymoney

    This is all BULL SHIT any driver who lets this happen needs their
    heads examined. All this crap doesn’t make good drivers.
    DRIVERS PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN IT TIME TO TAKE ACTION

  • Kendall Oakleaf

    How bout pick your nose and wipe boogers on the screen or masturbate on video hey trucker voyeurism make millions doing porno while driving what a hit. Any driver who lets their company get away with this is a complete IDIOT

  • mousekiller

    When you have nearly 35 kids on a bus there are bullies and the ones that get bullied. The bus drivers do not run hours after hour on the highway. They work maybe 2 hrs in the am and the same in the afternoon. NO comparison to truck drivers. Cameras are for the kids safety. Some kids have been known to attack the driver even when the bus is moving.

  • mousekiller

    Your absolutely right. I have been behind the wheel of cmv’s for over 45 years. and to say that there are cameras already watching us is nothing but foolishness. Some meaning a few companies may have them .. but that is a very small number. Now if you are a sheeple then continue on with your I will follow obediently attitude.I will not allow an EOBR or ELD in my truck..Simply. I am a professional. I have on my truck 1 million 650 thousand miles. I was hired because I am a safe dependable driver. I am on time if not early. I have zero claims. . If the company loses sight of that fact I am no longer needed so I will move on. If drivers had the atitude to tell the company they are an asset to them and proved it day after day this crap would not be happening. Look around you. what do you see? Drivers today are beginning to look like and act like dumpster divers in every respect. . The pros are leaving the industry rather than be classified along with them.

  • martymarsh

    Again, you are welcome to believe what you want, I will never be the seasoned veteran that you are, I left with 39 years so I couldn’t possibly know what I’m talking about. Keep the shiny side up and God bless.