Dash Camera, ridemyhighway.com, jon sage, jon patrick sage, trucking, driver

Trucking & Safety Programs: How Much Is Too Much?

We all know the importance of safe driving… it’s a no-brainer. We all want to do our jobs, get paid, and then go home!

That’s not to say that everyone on the road should be out here- many drivers shouldn’t be! But, as the industry has grown, so has the need for more and more trucks, which has turned into an incredible increase of trucks and drivers on the Nation’s highways. As more are added, and at faster rates than ever before, proper training and driver readiness appears to have suffered a bit. 

in a report from The National Law Review yesterday, a program implemented by American Central Transport (ACT) was reviewed. ACT has been using “DashCams” or rather- Driver Cameras since 2014. These in dash systems record not only the actions of the truck as it travels down the road, but also of the driver as he or she sits behind the wheel. Essentially, the camera records every movement (and mistake) that the driver makes.

While ACT claims that their CSA scores have steadily increased over the last few years of utilizing this technology, one has to wonder- what has happened to driver moral and turnover rates at ACT?

1 violation gets a face to face meeting and 2 violations within 6 months equals termination.

I, for one, felt that the electronic logs, or E-Logs, were the “end” of truckin’ as I knew and loved it, and if that be the case, then a dash cam is certainly the final notice served in the death of a previously free and easy lifestyle and occupation.

We are curious- what are YOUR thoughts- as DRIVERS- when it comes to having your every movement recorded and scrutinized as you try to maneuver throughout your day?  Perhaps the execs at ACT wouldn’t mind if they were recorded… every facial expression, every bit of frustration, everything… for up to 14 hours every day of their workweek???

Yeah, I didn’t think that would work…

Look for the new book coming out this Summer 2017- RideMyHighway.com, we are putting up previews every so often. You’re gonna want this book! 

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Read the entire article following at The National Law Review:

“Trucking Companies Implementing Safety Technology to Decrease Insurance Premiums: Doing Right Thing for Wrong Reason

In an attempt to keep insurance rate increases down, and possibly avoid cancellation, some trucking companies are implementing policies requiring truckers to use certain safety technology — such as onboard cameras and cellphone call/text blockers.

Onboard video cameras can capture risky driving and crash or road rage footage. Also, the video footage can be used in employee training and the employee review process. Overriding some drivers’ objections to being monitored by dashboard cameras for privacy and other reasons, the trucking companies noted that there are also benefits to such monitoring for the drivers. Video dashboard monitors can help a driver correct safety-related driving errors.

The cost of insurance is a major financial consideration for trucking companies. In 2016, the commercial auto insurance industry lost an estimated $716 million on policies. In turn, insurers increased premiums. Making matters worse, some trucking companies have begun to hire younger drivers due to shortages of more experienced drivers. Drivers with less experience are more difficult and expensive to insure. Onboard technology may enable companies to develop security records based on data that can help keep insurance premiums down.

The impetus for requiring safety technology is the potential for safety performance data to stem insurance premium increases. American Central Transport (ACT), began implementing a dash cam data system in its fleet in 2014. ACT uses Lytx, Inc.’s DriveCam system in its fleet. Lytx reports that 400,000 vehicles used this dash cam program in 2016.

The DriveCam system tracks speed and reckless driving as well as distracted driving. After the system was installed and monitoring commenced in ACT’s fleet, the data were analyzed. DriveCam captured truck drivers texting, eating, reading maps and other activities while driving.

In response, ACT instituted a safety program. One major issue addressed by the program was the use of handheld devices while driving, including cell phones and GPS units. ACT used the data to change its policy addressing handheld device violations. Drivers given a handheld violation captured on the DriveCam system must meet with management, and a second violation within six months results in termination of employment or the driver’s contract.

In addition to improving safety, trucking companies may increase compliance and decrease violations in the Unsafe Driving BASIC of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. ACT reports that its CSA scores have steadily improved since it began using the DriveCam program.”