Sign up for The Wire Newsletter!

Driver Cams?

Discussion in 'General Expediter Forum' started by Lawrence, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Lawrence
    Classy

    Lawrence Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Messages:
    8,254
    Trophy Points:
    405
    Ratings:
    +910 / 0 / -0
  2. jelliott
    Classy

    jelliott Veteran Expediter Motor Carrier Executive

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8,657
    Trophy Points:
    855
    Ratings:
    +6,460 / 11 / -0
    Carrier:
    Load One LLC
    Vehicle:
    Fleet of many types!
    I think if 80% or more of accidents are not the trucks fault....why wouldn't a good driver want to be covered?
     
  3. mjmsprt40
    Snap Happy

    mjmsprt40 Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,463
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +422 / 0 / -0
    Carrier:
    Exclusive Services
    Vehicle:
    rattletrap cargo van
    Seems the link is troublesome. At least for me.

    However: I've watched a number of You-Tube videos of Russian dash-cams, and after getting past the remarkably bad driving and the number of preventable accidents shown, one thing that stands out is that the dash-cam helps eliminate fraud. You've come to a stop, a pedestrian walks up to your vehicle and throws himself across the hood and falls down to the pavement--- without the dash-cam, you could be out lots of money and your license and job. The dash-cam shows that the pedestrian attempted insurance fraud, and--- you're off the hook, with video evidence of what REALLY happened.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Tennesseahawk
    Balanced

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,430
    Trophy Points:
    655
    Ratings:
    +2,804 / 3 / -0
    Maybe stockholders would want them in CEO offices too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Tennesseahawk
    Balanced

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,430
    Trophy Points:
    655
    Ratings:
    +2,804 / 3 / -0
    If I'm not mistaken, they're focusing more on the cameras facing the drivers. When this was first introduced, they said it would only be for troublesome drivers. Well, we know how that goes.

    Can't remember the company, but they're installing driver facing dash cams AND cameras in the sleeper.

    Do you want one in YOUR truck, all so your company could save a few bucks on car insurance?
     
  6. Mailer

    Mailer Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,292
    Trophy Points:
    280
    Ratings:
    +1,489 / 0 / -0
    Carrier:
    I thought about having one, but....

    " A Dash-Cam can not only help you but it can hurt you


    Art B
    New Member
    I recently joined this Forum, so forgive me if this topic has already been addressed and beat to a pulp. Hopefully my law enforcement perspective will give you all a little bit more to chew on.

    At the end of this topic, if you care to read further, I’ve included a “slightly” off-topic story of how I used evidence no bigger than the head of a pin to solve a no-witness traffic accident, but more importantly, how the good guys won.

    There are so many different types and qualities of Dash-Cams on the market. Some are very basic and others show your GPS position, speed, temp, time and inside voice recording.

    I’ll use this one traffic accident scenario as an example:

    You are happily cruising along a city street approaching an intersection. Your green light suddenly turns yellow as you comfortably enter the intersection. Out of nowhere, you suddenly collide with a car who enters the intersection from your right. You feel confident you entered the intersection on a yellow light but he and his car load of passengers say he had the green which would imply you had the red. As is often the case, no other drivers had the decency to stop to give their eye witness account of the accident.

    Now depending on your speed thru the intersection, you could have and likely did enter the intersection on a yellow and his light could have turned green before you cleared the intersection however, he is required to ensure the intersection is clear before he starts out. You feel very confident you are not at fault and it’s likely you’re right especially since you know you have a smoking gun.

    5-8 minutes later, here comes the law. You surprise everyone at the scene as you put the final nail in the other driver’s coffin when you announce you have a Dash-Cam. At this point, I assure you, if the officer could kiss you he/she would...you’ve just trimmed hours off his written investigation.

    In the middle of this big love fest, the officer asks if he could see the video. You whip out your cell phone or your ipad and since you have a Black-Vue DR500GW-HD, you log into the app and pull up a beautiful video of the time frame in question. So, contrary to what some of you were saying in the last thread about the importance of having a Dash-Cam, the officer will have absolutely no qualms about sitting in your car, sticking his head in your car or sitting on top of your car as he views the evidence.

    There it is...clear as day. You entered the intersection with the yellow and here comes this Bozo from the right. It’s pretty clear...you give a sigh of relief, he gives a sigh of defeat and the officer...well, he’s excited at the thought he’ll now have enough time at the end of his shift to enjoy a 2nd donut...life’s good!!! But wait...what’s this little number in the GPS info? It says 33...oh my...that’s your speed. The officer looks at the speed limit sign across the street...it says 30 MPH.

    OK, so here’s where you stand. The officer will complete his investigation. He will suggest you retain your SD card for your insurance company...he has enough info from the video. He will write in his narrative that you presented to him and he personally viewed your Dash-Cam info showing you entered the intersection on a legal yellow...at 33 mph in a 30 MPH zone. He will still show Mr. Bozo was at fault, BUT...by your own evidence, he will state your GPS/DASH-CAM indicates you were exceeding the posted speed limit. On the surface, that makes you partially culpable since Mr. Bozo would argue if you were traveling 3 mph slower, you would not have reached him thus there would not have been a collision.

    Since technically, the officer doesn’t know the difference between a Dash-Cam and a jelly donut, he has no way of knowing the accuracy, calibrated date or authenticity of your video. Mr. Bozo’s insurance company will now have a little more teeth, albeit baby teeth, but bite back ability none-the-less. I would suspect they will likely come to an agreement where each insurance company will settle on fixing their own driver’s cars and move on from there...all because your Dash-Cam inadvertently presented the other side with ammo.

    Now I would never ever suggest you lie at a traffic accident though many do. What I would suggest is, if you believe you were in the right, say so. If the officer is on the fence or leans in favor of the other driver and he lists you as the primary cause of the accident, don’t sweat it. Remember, officers written traffic investigations is merely a guideline for insurance companies based solely on all the facts he/she had at the time.

    What you should do is go home, quickly view your SD Card video. If it clearly shows you in the right, download the video ONLY on your computer. Use your computer’s video viewer program to separate the GPS data from the actual video, copy the video to disc and present the disc to your insurance company. You also have the right to go down to the police station to add an addendum to the original report in the form of a statement. Your statement could simply be you have additional evidence in the form of a video of the accident that you are submitting to the insurance company. Your video will not change the officer’s assessment of who was at fault, however, it is now part of the official written investigation.

    Is this an ethical thing to do? You bet it is. Opposing attorneys will always look for any smidgen of evidence to poke holes in your story. A non-highway posted speed limit in California indicates “safe speed for conditions” Driving 33 MPH in a 30 MPH zone is arguably NOT unsafe and you should not have to risk the chance of your insurance premiums going up for driving 3 MPH over the speed limit. Even though technically, you are exceeding the speed limit.

    Hopefully this offered a little more insight on the pros and cons of having a Dash-Cam.



    A short slightly off-topic story about evidence at an accident scene:

    One day I received a radio call to investigate a non injury accident that was holding up rush hour traffic in our very busy downtown area. When I arrived, it was chaotic. A car with 5 overly excited women claimed the 18 wheeler a block further up the hill rear ended their convertible rental car. They ordered the trucker to pull over to await police but the trucker flipped them off and drove around them. He obviously gave it a 2nd thought as he noticed they were writing down his plate, so he stopped a block up the hill.

    On occasion, my agency suspends investigating non-injury accidents due to personnel shortages. Instead, we facilitate the exchange of info and suggest drivers contact their respective insurance companies which is what I had planned to do that day.

    Curiously, I asked the truck driver if he hit their car, his response was, “These F---ing B-tches were sight seeing and holding up traffic so I hit the air horn and they got ****ed. They got out and cursed me out so I drove around them. I stopped up the block when they yelled they are calling the police to say I hit them.

    His condescending attitude left me with little choice but to conduct a written investigation with deep down hopes of finding him at fault. With his 2 witnesses inside his truck swearing on everything holy they never even came close to the car and the 5 women swearing he did, I had nothing to go by. The rear bumper was pushed in enough to cause these ladies grief with Budget Rent A Car because they opted out of collision coverage.

    After 15 minutes of listening to both sides, I told the ladies not to worry...the trucker was at fault and I would write it up that way. The trucker blew a gasket saying I had no evidence and he would have my job.

    I walked the trucker up the block, took out a small white piece of paper and a knife. I scraped a pin-head size bug from his undamaged monster size bumper. We then walked back to the rear of the ladies mustang, bent down and again, with my knife, I scraped an identical dead bug off the back of their bumper-mounted license plate. I told the trucker the only way this dead bug could find his way to the rear bumper of their car is if the ladies drove their car at 60 mph...backwards or...his front bug infested bumper came in contact with their rear license plate. His response was, ”well, maybe I just lightly tapped their bumper, but that was it.” The ladies rejoiced and the truck driver just stood there like the idiot he was. I gave the ladies my business card and told them to have Budget give me a call if there’s a problem.

    Two months later, I received a monster sized thank you card from all 5 ladies signed by over 100 kids thanking me for being a police officer...the ladies were grade school teachers.

    The reason for this story, other than it was hopefully somewhat entertaining, is evidence at the scene of a traffic accident, no matter what kind, will almost always work.

    So, at the scene of a traffic accident, showing an officer a video account of what happened can, without question, help you."

    https://forum.dashcamtalk.com/threads/a-dash-cam-can-not-only-help-you-but-it-can-hurt-you.2957/
    *
     
  7. mjmsprt40
    Snap Happy

    mjmsprt40 Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,463
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +422 / 0 / -0
    Carrier:
    Exclusive Services
    Vehicle:
    rattletrap cargo van
    S'OK. Y'all wants ta put a camera in my truck. Where's it pointed, and what are ya tryin' ta prove?

    The more I think about this, the more I think the company that tries this may-- just may-- cross that line from "independent contractors" to "employees".

    If it's "problem drivers"-- hey, you already KNOW he's a problem or you wouldn't be insisting on putting a camera in his truck. Amiright? So--- if he's a problem, it's time to call him in for a li'l chat before you put that camera in there-- especially one facing the driver, which it seems to me may have privacy implications you might not want to get into. More so if the camera is in the sleeper, as has been suggested in one comment here.

    For anything else--- I think dash-cams CAN be a good idea IF everybody involved understands their uses, limitations, and common ground can be reached (and I don't mean "We install the camera or you don't drive for us"-- in which case, OK---- good-bye).

    Now, as it happens I've considered-- but haven't done it yet-- installing my own dash-cam, pointed to face the front so "the camera sees what the driver sees". Further, if they make a camera that can cover some of the blind spots that camera could be worth its weight in gold. So--- it's possible they have their place.

    Special aside to Jelliot: Your argument, while possibly sound on one level, is dangerously close to "If you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't be worried". As soon as somebody says that in order to put snoopy equipment in your vehicle or home, worry. A lot. Police states depend on the "If you have nothing to hide" argument. I'm not doing anything wrong, but I don't want a camera in my face proving that. Unless I'm getting paid Hollywood level wages. Hmmmm....... maybe we should discuss that------:cool:
     
  8. Tennesseahawk
    Balanced

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,430
    Trophy Points:
    655
    Ratings:
    +2,804 / 3 / -0
    I have nothing to hide, but everything to protect.
     
  9. Tennesseahawk
    Balanced

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,430
    Trophy Points:
    655
    Ratings:
    +2,804 / 3 / -0
    Also didn't mention these inward facing cameras were on company trucks, so they were pointed at employees. My look at a few companies ended when I found out about their plans to point a camera at the drivers.
     
  10. OntarioVanMan
    Thinking

    OntarioVanMan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    45,080
    Trophy Points:
    1,205
    Ratings:
    +30,389 / 25 / -2
    Carrier:
    Crossroads..now retired
    Vehicle:
    Sprinter
    I've heard some insurance companies want/demand they are installed on troublesome drivers...camera or no insurance.....There are pro's and cons....I'd go with NO!! IN all my years of driving not once would a cam ever would be of any good...why at this point start now...?
     
  11. OntarioVanMan
    Thinking

    OntarioVanMan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    45,080
    Trophy Points:
    1,205
    Ratings:
    +30,389 / 25 / -2
    Carrier:
    Crossroads..now retired
    Vehicle:
    Sprinter
    Wasn't this the same argument in support of the Patriot Act following 9/11? and how' that turn out?....
     
  12. Jeepers

    Jeepers Expert Expediter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    125
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0 / -0
    Recently had HP pull me over. Said I was swerving. He saw the dash cam and walked away without comment.
    Cops.....the biggest gang in the country.
     
  13. runrunner

    runrunner Expert Expediter

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    810
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Ratings:
    +130 / 0 / -0
    So there is a cop telling you to tamper with evidence,by taking the video home and editing it?
     
  14. jelliott
    Classy

    jelliott Veteran Expediter Motor Carrier Executive

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8,657
    Trophy Points:
    855
    Ratings:
    +6,460 / 11 / -0
    Carrier:
    Load One LLC
    Vehicle:
    Fleet of many types!
    I see a lot of sides of this argument. Personal freedom is always a valid one. But in a world of so much litigation those freedoms are compromised far more by lawsuit hungry attorneys than a camera in my opinion. I think the true fleet camera systems are much different than what many people buy at the truckstops.

    The major brands digitally record ahead and the drivers seat view. They do it for like 60 seconds in a constant loop that is overwriting. The companies can not view a live feed and I have never heard of someone putting ones in sleepers. When an "event" occurs the 30 seconds before and after the event and then transmits that snapshot to the third party service. They then generally review and filter out false positives. It is much like how the satellites send us hard braking alerts for instance. It just now attaches the video. Did a car cut the driver off? Did the driver fall asleep? Did he just hit railroad tracks and it triggered it? Ones that are false alarms are disregarded by the video company. The ones that are issues are forwarded to the carrier, for coaching or compliments. Yes, many times the video is going to show the extraordinary effort that the driver may have went through to avoid an incident caused by others.

    Now in the case of an accident, yes that video can be forwarded to a drivers cell phone to show the officer. It quickly clears up the he said, she said. Too many times it is just easier for police to blame the truck. The truck is a corporation in many peoples eyes vs the driver behind the wheel. The same is true in a lawsuit. Juries or judges have a bad habit of feeling it is just easier to pass blame on a company and its driver vs the poor car driver that likely caused the accident.

    Yes, if the company is at fault everyone will clearly see that. If the driver was on video texting or fell asleep. But then the company can decide based on the facts to try and settle quickly vs not knowing the facts and going through a long negotiation or trial that costs everyone.

    Last but not least. God forbid the case of serious injury or death. A situation can appear to put the blame on a driver. The driver of the vehicle may be deceased. A driver can be left testifying for his very freedom that the car spun out in front of him and that it wasn't his fault. That camera might be the very thing that protects his freedom from incarceration.

    Again I think the debate has a lot of sides. You can argue it all day like motorcycle helmet laws for instance. No one will ever agree.
     
  15. Mailer

    Mailer Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,292
    Trophy Points:
    280
    Ratings:
    +1,489 / 0 / -0
    Carrier:
    Dude just asked me if I have a dash cam.
    I said no.

    He then reaches over and grabbed my last favorite donut from the dashboard and ate it!

    No Sir, ain't going to happen again. I'm going shopping for both dash and cab cams.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/414471971926942835/

    .......lol.......
     
  16. davekc
    Caffeine Fix

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Messages:
    15,308
    Trophy Points:
    1,005
    Ratings:
    +5,608 / 2 / -0
    Carrier:
    Panther & V3
    Vehicle:
    Lazy-Boy
    I think that is where the disconnect may come in. Using it on employees is a little different than independent contractors. I do see advantages and disadvantages.
    A possible compromise if for insurance/liability only, would be to have on facing forward but not at the driver. A owner operator would have to have full control or would have to allow consent for its contents.
    Doesn't cover everything, but most things short of a driver falling asleep or texting. The driver would be at a disadvantage with either of those. All they are doing is giving ammunition to a plaintiffs lawyer. Other vehicle functions can currently be monitored through the QC. (Ex. speed, shifting)
    Then we have how a carrier would use them. Some would use them for their intended purpose while others would make it a profit center or manipulate data to their advantage. Have to remember, we have a lot of carriers that are less than transparent in their dealings with drivers and operators. So one of those, have to look at all the angles.
     
  17. Tennesseahawk
    Balanced

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,430
    Trophy Points:
    655
    Ratings:
    +2,804 / 3 / -0
    God forbid we ever go on our business like we used to. Sorry John, companies going bonkers about driver facing cameras have one thing in mind... dollas. That is until your driver facing camera shows YOUR guy fell asleep. Companies care about safety only as far as it matters to profit; or else there would be two logbooks in every truck. It's not profitable to cheat anymore; elogs mean profit; and cameras mean profit. Oh yeah... and sleep studies mean profit.

    As far as cameras in the sleeper, keep an eye on ACT - American Central Transport, out of Liberty, MO... hell of an oxymoron. Maybe cb rumors or maybe they notified their drivers of it coming. But there are already windshield mounted cams that do view into the sleeper. And I definitely don't buy that an event is the only thing that triggers them. There have been drivers who have covered their cams up, and have gotten a call telling them to uncover them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  18. Tennesseahawk
    Balanced

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,430
    Trophy Points:
    655
    Ratings:
    +2,804 / 3 / -0
    No problem having them front mounted. But as we know, give an inch... I'd rather use MY OWN front mounted camera.
     
  19. jelliott
    Classy

    jelliott Veteran Expediter Motor Carrier Executive

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8,657
    Trophy Points:
    855
    Ratings:
    +6,460 / 11 / -0
    Carrier:
    Load One LLC
    Vehicle:
    Fleet of many types!
    That would be classic rumor and truck stop talk. I happened to know ACT's owner. He was the last chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association and a huge advocate for drivers. They are testing Drivecam (which doesn't face or have a sleeper cam). As well he is an attorney by trade and does anyone think you could mount a sleeper cam legally???? Silly. Hawk you know better than that.

    And really carrier dollars? Does any carrier not want to reduce loss exposure and what is paid to insurance companies and plaintiffs attorneys. It is the carriers insurance policy and dollar that ultimately pays for the loss? Really don't see trying to reduce losses as anything less than responsible and good business. Every reduced loss is good for the company and the driver involved.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  20. mjmsprt40
    Snap Happy

    mjmsprt40 Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,463
    Trophy Points:
    140
    Ratings:
    +422 / 0 / -0
    Carrier:
    Exclusive Services
    Vehicle:
    rattletrap cargo van
    If it's MY camera, I have full control over it. I decide when or if it gets turned on, what it sees and so on. If I get the urge to point it at myself--- say, for a You-Tube video--- that's my choice. If I decide to pop for a camera that sees down the road and also sees me--- that's my choice. No problem with that if I choose how this thing gets set up and used.

    If the company starts insisting on these things, there's the real problem of how far you trust the company not to snoop on nunuvyerbizness stuff. Do I depend on "thirty-second loop" and only transmitting during an incident? How do I know it isn't transmitting any other time? If the "boss" can look at me any time he wants to like that, how come we're still pretending I'm an independent contractor and not an employee? One of the things that makes me independent is that the "boss" isn't looking over my shoulder, telling me how to do my job. Snooper cameras may very well remove that distinction, putting the boss in the cab with you in an electronic sense.

    Put the camera in, and I'll want paid vacations, holidays, sick leave and all the rest of the perks of being an employee. Because from the moment a company camera goes in my van, I AM an employee.
     
    • Like Like x 2
Loading...

Share This Page