A recent article by Sean Kilcarr published in Fleet Owner explores why one director of safety believes inward and outward facing cameras will be absolutely vital tools for commercial drivers going forward, outweighing any privacy or other concerns drivers and company owners may have. Jeff Wood, director of safety for Martin Transportation System (a 1,000-truck, 1,400-driver fleet long-haul, regional, and local transportation for the “Big 3” automakers) contends truck drivers are getting blamed in accidents when they have no fault. Wood argues the cameras are the ultimate silent witness because they tell an unbiased full and complete story. He also notes that videos are great training tools so an entire fleet can learn from other’s driver’s successes as well as situations where mistakes were made.
Not surprisingly, Wood talks about facing opposition from his drivers when he announced the plan to install inward and outward facing technology. I have heard similar stories from clients and other safety managers I have chatted with at recent events. What I have not heard, however, is a single company that installed cameras say the program has been anything but a success. While it is absolutely true the cameras may show evidence of fault on behalf of the truck driver, this allows companies and their insurers to effectively manage the risk in those situations. This is no different than what my clients have demanded in every accident I have investigated, an honest up-front evaluation regarding exposure.
I would encourage everyone to take a couple of minutes and read the entire article (Why driver cameras are critical: One fleet’s view) and the extremely insightful commentary. Thanks for reading.
By Larry Hall