Average semi-trucks weigh about as much as two elephants when they are completely empty and on the road. Given this context, it should come as no surprise that truckers are subject to a much higher number of rules, restrictions, and monitoring systems than other drivers.
Driver-facing camera monitoring systems are one of the techniques intended to assist in preventing semi-truck accidents. Although these technologies appear to reduce unsafe behavior, they encounter significant resistance from the trucking businesses that can be held responsible for poor trucker behavior.
Exactly How Do Driver-Facing Cameras Operate?
When trucking companies refer to “driver-facing video systems,” they are referring to more than a camera that is pointed at the driver of the vehicle. Instead, these systems feature a GPS, a camera that faces the driver, and a camera that faces the road. The systems include infrared capabilities so they can work in low light.
In particular, these programs depend on artificial intelligence to detect driver behavior and notify the driver and company if the driver exhibits unsafe or drowsy behavior.
The impact of driver-facing cameras on the frequency of truck accidents has been the subject of certain studies. According to the findings, it appears that the cameras assist in lowering the risky behaviors that may otherwise result in a serious collision. Some businesses reported decreases in mobile phone use of over 95%, distracted driving reductions of over 40%, and fatigued driving reductions of almost 70%.
Are front-facing cameras for drivers permitted?
In-cab cameras that record drivers are becoming more and more common among trucking companies, but is this practice legal?
The trucking industry has long been opposed to driver-facing cameras. They give drivers the unsettling impression that their employer is keeping an eye on them. Since a driver’s truck is where he lives and spends his free time, many truckers even contend that driver-facing cameras compromise their right to privacy.
Is it so legal for an employer to demand a driver-facing camera?
Yes, in a nutshell, especially if you live in the United States. When employers demand driver-facing cameras, they are not breaking any specific laws. Inward-facing cameras are already used in the trucking business and have so far encountered minimal legal issues.
What Arguments Are Made Against Driver-Facing Cameras?
Issues with Privacy
Driver-facing cameras are first seen as a violation of privacy by many truck drivers. They contend that the processes are complex and grant carriers undue levels of power. Driver-facing cameras, according to trucking companies, make drivers feel exposed and underappreciated.
Lack of truck drivers
When employees are unhappy with given working conditions, they are replaced by others who are ready to put up with it. So, this doesn’t occur with truck drivers.
Trucking firms have always had trouble finding new drivers, and the majority of employees don’t stick around for very long. Due to the high turnover rates, trucking businesses are always looking to hire new drivers. This increases the reluctance of transportation businesses to set up controversial driver-facing cameras.
A lot of trucking companies lack the financial resources necessary to establish and use one of these surveillance systems. They believe that allowing certain risky activity is more cost-effective than investing in a system to stop it, which might also make it more difficult for them to keep drivers.
What New Truck Drivers Should Know About Trucking Enterprises That Use Driver-Facing Cameras
In-cab cameras that face the driver and the road have been implemented by several trucking companies or will be placed soon.
Until an “event,” such as forceful braking, bumping or colliding into anything, the cameras are often filming in a loop, documenting over prior footage. The surveillance company should check the tape at that point and, if necessary, inform your company. The 10 seconds or so before and after the occurrence are then saved. Otherwise, they don’t keep the footage on file forever or watch over it. The bandwidth and storage capacity needed to make something practical are not existent on Earth.
The cameras will assist trucking businesses to lower their accountability in the event of a contested collision and increase safety by reducing factors like driver distraction.
Why Some Businesses Are Resistant to The Driver-Facing Cameras
Why are businesses reluctant to use the technology if in-cab, driver-facing cameras can assist keep truckers and the others near them safe?
The impression of privacy for drivers is the determining factor. Companies are putting a lot of effort into finding and keeping drivers because there has been a shortage of truckers in several areas of the transport industry recently. According to businesses, driver-facing cameras not only need a large financial outlay but also run the risk of making drivers feel vulnerable and controlled. The companies claim that if these problems deter more individuals from driving trucks, it would worsen the current truck driver shortage.
If you utilize driver-facing cameras, some businesses might pay you more.
The Illinois-based GP Transco revealed a novel incentive scheme. The company made driver-facing cameras voluntary while offering a 2 cent per mile pay increase for drivers who choose that option. As drivers are still hesitant to integrate technology into their workplaces and ”homes”. More trucking enterprises may decide to follow this example.