Big Brother: The Anti-Cam View of the Dash-Cam Debate

Don’t you hate it when you’re minding your own business, singing John Denver at the top of your lungs, and your manager from work pops his head in to see how you’re doing? If that awkward situation doesn’t seem very likely, you’re probably not a trucker weighing the pros and cons of dash cams.

While the watchful eye of supervisors at work helps ensure efficiency and keep employees safe, dash cams in trucks are often being pointed not only at the road, but at the driver’s seat as well. Because truck cabs are often personal and intimate spaces for drivers, where they eat, sleep, and even use the bathroom, driver-facing recording devices can start to feel like an invasion of privacy. As the benefits of dash cams make them increasingly popular among fleet managers, trucking companies, and even drivers, it is important to understand how they work and why many truckers have serious concerns about them.

How Do Dash Cams Work? Video systems installed in trucks and other commercial vehicles integrate with other safety systems to monitor and record driving. Safety irregularities or alerts, such as stability control or collision avoidance, prompt the video system to save the video feed from a few seconds before to a few seconds after the incident. Companies adamantly promise that apart from those few seconds, no other part of the video stream is saved, protecting the privacy of drivers.

What Are the Concerns? The idea of a camera pointed directly at the driver’s seat does not sit well with those who are concerned about protecting privacy in a cab that may also be a trucker’s home for much of the time on the road. Many drivers don’t seem to be convinced of the claim (made by almost all companies offering the service) that the video stream will not be automatically saved unless activated by safety triggers. They worry, despite the assurances of executives to the contrary, that they could be under supervision at all times and subject to invasive micromanaging or embarrassment.

Truckers may also worry that captured video could be misinterpreted, or even manipulated, to put full blame on drivers for incidents. Other truckers are concerned that the recording can be too easily triggered – by the likes of potholes or other minor bumps or turns – and that the blinking light of an activated camera can itself dangerously distract from or add stress to already precarious situations.

So What Now? The clear advantages of forward-facing and driver-facing dash cams, for both business and drivers, means they are here to stay; we’ve detailed those benefits in a previous blogpost. Hundreds of thousands of trucks have already been equipped with forward-facing and driver-facing dash cams and it would be no surprise if they soon become mandatory in all commercial vehicles. If dash cams are inevitable, it will be essential for companies to have open and honest conversations about the undeniable benefits – and understandable concerns – that recording devices bring.

For fleet managers, it will be important to demonstrate the benefits of dash cams to drivers, offer clear assurances that privacy will not be violated, and implement your roll-out methodically and in cooperation with drivers. For concerned drivers, research the exact features of the system being installed and clearly communicate any questions or issues so they can be answered or resolved. Dash cams are not just the technology of the future, but of the present, so it’s important to prepare for that reality now.

What do you think about dash cams?? Let us know in the comments below!!


2 thoughts on “Big Brother: The Anti-Cam View of the Dash-Cam Debate

  1. This period in time, driver faced drive cams are equal to or greater than, the persuading witness of a once hung jury, in a case where you are now facing manslaughter instead of acquittal. All due to a video recording of you reaching for your cell phone from 10 years ago. Almost like that picture of the president smoking a joint back in college. Oooops, Wait, today you can still be president even though it would have never been socially or politically acceptable in a Kennedy era.
    This is not about privacy as much as it is protection, unless we go through the many states variable recording laws. These companies that have driver facing cameras are committing crimes and violating the very fabric of an individuals constitutional right, if you still even know what that is anymore. These companies and their representatives should be held accountable. And yes, Driver of the month, will argue this; unknowingly after giving away their daily session of brown nosing in some disturbed way of building their moral character by the demise of others. They are just the products of this fatherless society.
    Understand, leading the charge for a cause in the greater good is honorable. Taking charge in haphazard, just because one did more than just brown nosing to get that promotion, is as reckless as the one at the end of a pointed camera.
    So let me clarify for the ones with a face full. Put a unattended loaded gun on a table in a crowded room, someone is possibly going to get shot. Now imagine your in the room, and that gun is laying on the table pointed at you. Now who do you believe will be the first person accidentally shot?
    Still doubt, call up an attorney specialized in these types of accident cases, and let them tell you how beneficial the cameras are.
    Oh, but let us show a huge amount of respect to one of the only professions that have backbone especially under the gospel of FMSCR, the pilots. The pilots union faced cameras in the cockpit many years before one was ever introduced in a truck. They are the true leaders, they are the ones who had enough intelligence to not fall, and union to stand against being punked out by the industry.
    So, what say you driver?
    You gonna sit there and sell out your fellow driver, or are you going to rally beside them. Or maybe that’s your car parked there in the front row?

    Author,

    Common Sense is not so common in herds.

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