In recent years, technology has affected the manufacture and safety features in both cars and big trucks. Both types of vehicles are currently undergoing autonomous driving test programs. One of the latest pilot programs that may affect truckers is the testing of in-cab cameras that many trucking companies are trying. It varies when the cameras are turned on, and for how long they run. Also, some are video recorders and others are live-stream cameras.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently allowing some companies to do extensive testing to see where exactly an in-cab camera can get the most effective view. Walmart is testing the out in-cab cameras, as are a number of other large and small transportation companies.
Why some trucking companies say they want in-cab cameras
There are many reasons why trucking companies say they want in-cab cameras. They include the following.
- Legal protection of a trucking company and its drivers: The inward-facing cameras would show what the driver was doing at a critical time, such as when the driver initiates a hard brake or a sharp turn. If an accident occurs, the camera would be able to show what the driver was doing at a particular moment and hopefully, show that the accident was not the fault of the trucker. Because truck accidents can cause catastrophic injury and damage to people and property, sometimes resulting in millions of dollars of lawsuits and settlements, the trucking industry wants every legal protection it can get.
- Safer drivers: Drivers who are being watched from a remote location know they are being watched. As a result, truck companies are hoping that safer driving behaviors will result in better driving and fewer accidents.
- Fuel savings: Truckers can use or save fuel depending upon the way they engage the throttle and whether they overdrive the equipment. Company managers will be able to see which drivers are costing them additional money for fuel and which are not.
Trucker drivers’ reactions to in-cab cameras
Truck drivers around the country are reacting to the idea and, in some cases, the reality of in-cab cameras. The reactions range from anger and resignation, to outright enthusiasm.
Some feel it is a complete invasion of privacy, as truckers live in their cabs. Some companies are considering 24-7 footage, and some that are only activated by a critical event. Others feel it is inevitable because new technology is a fact of life. And then there are those truckers who embrace it, feeling the cameras provide a way for everyone to know the truth of what happens during an accident, thus protecting them from liability and/or job loss.
What do you think? Is it too much “Big Brother is Watching You,” or is it a smart move for everyone? I’d really like to know what you think, so please feel free leave a comment.
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