Drivers who don’t like cameras “shouldn’t go to the mall, the grocery store, or the gas station, because most are now under 24/7 video surveillance,” a fleet representative says in defense of inward and outward facing cameras as vital tools that outweigh privacy concerns.

Jeff Wood, director of safety for Martin Transportation System, tells FleetOwner “There are just too many situations out there today where [truck] drivers get blamed in minor and major traffic incidents where they are not at fault, yet the cop takes the other side.” Cameras, he says, change the story so it’s no longer a “word vs. word” encounter. “With video,” he adds, “we know when we’re in the right and when we’re in the wrong,” noting that the camera shows when drivers are at fault and when they are “on their toes and anticipating problems.”

Tom Kretsinger Jr., president and CEO of American Central Transport, says driver-facing cameras are the only way to truly ensure a fleet’s drivers are following the proper safety protocols. He says, “We set a safety policy with no real way to enforce it because at the end of the day a driver will do what they want to do.” He acknowledges drivers do not like the cameras, but he says “continuous improvement is what this is all about. [Cameras] tell us who to coach: the ones who text, who use the cell phone, who drive unbelted. The ones who exhibit the behaviors that increase their crash risk.” Wood says discussing cameras one-on-one with drivers can help the discussion, allowing drivers and fleet representatives to tell their sides in a more casual environment than a big meeting in a conference room.