Should video cameras installed in company vehicles to prevent potential accidents be used to discipline workers?

Service trucks with surveillance cameras
Service trucks with surveillance cameras

Offer the service vehicles with the surveillance cameras to those employees who possesses a bad driving record.

During the past few years, many companies have found it necessary to installed surveillance cameras in their service vehicles as a mean to help understand the nature of an automobile accident. Not only has the surveillance cameras help those companies recognize the cause of the accident; it has also help them noticed if the employee negligently provoke the accident.

As a consequence of this effect, employees who have in their service vehicles, the surveillance cameras, have not only improved the way in which they drive, but have also used an ear piece to speak on the cell or have completely stopped communicating on the cell while driving. Therefore, we cannot say that this system of surveillance has not help reduced the accident potential, nor can we say that it has not help employers reduced their liability risk.

So, from that stand point - Union leaders agreed that the system have some benefit. After all, it also help keeps the employee safe from preventable accidents. However, we cannot say the same for all accidents. Some accidents are not avoidable; to say all accidents are avoidable is the same as saying that everyone who holds a driver's license is a defensive driver. An accident occurred because the parties involved are not always aware of the potential danger. This is the reason why it’s referred to as an accident, more often than that it’s unpreventable. Employees will occasionally gets into accidents, but not all accidents merit a disciplinary action.

How can Union leaders, and managements come to an understanding to figure out when a disciplinary action is necessary? Well, for now we know that the incentive for employers to initiate disciplinary actions every time employees have disobeyed their rules can help decrease the accident rate. But can we honestly say that all disciplinary actions will result in a decrease on accident rate. Employees have found the latter inquiry to be problematic.

The question should be which disciplinary actions if any at all should count against workers termination, because as it is right now, some disciplinary actions are too extreme, and they do not take in consideration the employees driving history. Take for example a worker who has been discipline for taking a stop sign. Should this employee be disciplined on first account or should he receive three warning notification before he is suspended.

The problem is not with the worker with the good driving record, the problem is with the repeated offender, the employee who is consistently violating the traffic laws even after receiving three warning notifications is where the problem is. A driver with good driving record might occasionally break the law, but his punishment should reflect his driving record. He should not receive a worst penalty than his coworker whose driving record is close to suspension. The reason why, is because the worker with the best driving record is more of an asset to the company than the one whose driving privilege is close to termination.

In which district or departments those surveillance cameras are used depends on the company’s statistic and preferences. Most companies will not use cameras in their service vehicles in all district or departments. They may choose to apply this system in places where vehicle accident cases are on the rise. This way there’re able to reduce on cost while decreasing on accident rate.

However, a better way for employers to reduce cost while investing in a system that helps them reduce automobile accidents is to offer the service vehicles with the surveillance cameras to those employees who possesses a bad driving record. By implementing this proposition, fewer cameras will be needed; the focus will then be placed where the risk lies.

Realistically speaking, this system works because not all employees are defensive drivers, because if that was the case, they would not have been any need for surveillance cameras. The accident rate would not have risen to a level that requires surveillance cameras – unless it’s being used for other means. Therefore, why not assign those vehicles to drivers with a bad driving record? This may lead to less video cameras being installed which could result with less money being spent on the company’s part.

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Comments 6 comments

Frank 4 years ago

I work for a transportation company. In 2010 they installed Drive Cam with the intent on help the workforce impove risky driving habits. They said if a employee trigger the drive cam they would look at the footage and then bring the employee in for"a coaching session" to help the employee impove the driving way.Instand they are use the (sys) to punish all employees no matter what they driving record is. And they have admitted to our union rep that risky drive patterns and accident have not been reduce! So what would be the best sulotion to this problem?

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Coolbreezing 4 years ago from New York, New York Author


An employee can trigger the Drive Cam and not provok the accident. The Drive Cam may have been triggered due to a bump or a pot whole. In that case not every instances where a Drive Cam has been triggered would require a "Coaching Session." The driving record of the employee, regardless of how excellent it is shouldn't excuse a disciplinary action.

A person with a good driving record is less likely to get into an accident for the simply fact that if the driver was reckless he would not have had a good record. But there will always be a few exceptions where a reckless driver happens to own a good driving record. He may be at the verge of becoming a reckless driver who knows, but nonetheless its a possibility.

Therefore, for the most part the employee with the good driving record is not necessarily part of the company's pool of risky drivers. The company is looking to lower their insurance cost by showing to their insurer that they have lowered the overhall risk of accidents.

But what the union should try to prevent is the possibility of using this tactic to sort out the employees that some manager wish to revoke because of animosities or other issues that has nothing to do with the employees safety driving record. In this case, NO employees with an extended years of excellent driving record according to DMV should be terminated on the bases of Drive Cam Triggering.

The solution at this point, after multiple warnings, if the driver has never gotten into an accident with the company vehicle is to recommend that this driver takes a defensive driving class out of his own expense. We also have to be mindful of personal conflicts among managerial and employees that could lead to termination of a good employee.


Coolbreezing profile image

Coolbreezing 4 years ago from New York, New York Author


Also one thing that you can consider Frank is that both the ensurer and the company that is ensured have a predetermine accident that is expected regardless on how much safety has been intensified.

This predetermine rate of accidents are based on age group of the drivers, driving records, the condition of the vehicles that are driven according to year, millage and maintenance, and lastly the location where these vehicles are being driven. If the vehicles are being driven mostly in a commercial area, the chances are accident rates are more likely to increase which could have cause insurance premium to increase.

The company's intent is t enforce safety procedures as a mean to lower the accident rates to as close as they can possibly do so. For that reason alone, the managers are less prone to inform their employees that they've done an excellent job in reducing accident rates, and that no more improvement is necessary.

They would not have wanted to Gas the employees head up, doing so might discourage the employees continuous effort in reducing accident rates. Managements will always find the need to inform their employees that more improvements are necessary, while at the same time offer some encouragements for their hard work, but not enough to Gas their head up - they should regulate how much pressure they are exposing their employees to very important.

Also if you work at a particular region, you'll know whether or not accidents have decrease or increase. You would not have to depend on management to tell you whether accidents have improved or reduced. If your district had 2 accidents in January 2010 and 4 months later they had one more for the rest of the year you can go back in history to calculate for yourself if your district has either improve or decrease on accident rates. In that sense, it would be hard for the manager to pressurize their employees effort to continue with the momentum in reducing accident rates.


mike 3 years ago

These cameras are cancer to your fleet.

Markymark 3 years ago

Putting these cameras in are the worst thing a company can do to there employee. Cameras may reduce accidents when first installed, the long term affect on employees morale and job production are cut in half! Lets say I have a job for a utility that installs these in our vehicles, my company wants me to do 12 jobs a day, Why in the world would I risk driving to 12 jobs a day and setting the camera off more often and getting disciplined when I can do 6 jobs a day and have less of a chance of setting off the camera? Guess what? Thats exactly what happens!! Drivecam wont tell the company this when they try to sell them these contracts! Our company is finally waking up after 5 years of this and dramatic less work performance and morale and getting rid of this garbage! Companies dont need a camera to know if your a good driver or a bad one! Your driving record will speak for itself!

Coolbreezing profile image

Coolbreezing 3 years ago from New York, New York Author

Good observation Markymark, but I must end that drivecam can help the company reduce insurance cost. I think it would be better if you look to balance the consequence with the cause. You said it well, drivecam installed in utility companies can result in reducing productivity. The drivers will try to drive safe to prevent the drivecam from going off. Nonetheless, driving safe does not mean that 12 jobs cannot be done in 8hrs it all depend on how far apart the jobs are spread out. On a different note, We can end if the drivecam can result in reducing company's insurance premium then the amount reduced may be equivalent to the total reduction in productivity or more. Without knowing how much the company's insurance policy has been cut to, We cannot assert that the Drivecam serves no purpose. And keep in mind that the Drivecam is not only there for insurance purposes, but also as a witness to any accident which the company may use as a defense in the Court of Law.

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