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!”