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Surveillance Video in Commercial Trucks

Updated on May 21, 2019
Oscarlites profile image

Driving big rigs and operating heavy equipment filled a large part of the authors life, living and driving in multiple states of the USA.


Pros and Cons of Video Cameras in Commercial Vehicles.

With the changing times and the beginning of the surveillance age, Commercial Trucking has a new twist. It is the practice of installing video cameras and audio recorders in company trucks.

The questions that arise:

1) Are cameras permissible by law, or are they infringing on the legal rights of individual drivers?

2) Do they make driving safer in any way, or do they cause drivers to ultimately be less safe than they would be without them?

3) What can drivers do that are in this predicament?

This is what I have on the subject at present. There are links that I intend to post for further research. I just feel as a career and employment blog writer, that I must write something on this subject.

---What Can I Do if I am a Commercial Driver and Face this Situation?

Whereas Truck Drivers have rights as well, so letters of opposition can and should be submitted to your representatives and senators, who are required by law to read every single written conveyance and send a reply.
In the meantime, it is appropriate to write or preferably type out and sign a self written form that states ” I do not consent to being videotaped or audibly recorded inside my truck.” and sign it and turn it in to your truck company. What they will see is that many of their drivers are opposed to this practice. Further yet, Driver safety CAN be compromised by this practice. It will surely make otherwise safe drivers perform differently, knowing they are being taped. There is no situation that is made safer in any way by there being camera’s inside the commercial truck. If this was a spaceship and we were astronauts, I might say it would be different, but in that case as well, you would have to give your consent to be videotaped. I propose that your rights are violated and the law broken by you being videotaped without your consent. Just be careful what you sign if you are opposed to this practice.


On a personal level, I cannot imagine what sort of individual would WANT to sit around and watch me pick my nose inside my truck all day long.

This video-taping/recording INSIDE the cab is an insult to every career driver and it automatically puts him on the same level as a criminal, whose actions have to be watched. the "bars" that hold him are his need to work and produce a living for his family. The employer is essentially his "warden". The motivation to be professional and expert as a Commercial Driver goes by the wayside. The American dream to be successful and independent is stifled. No longer am I trusted to perform my duties with a spirit of pride and achievement.

Points to ponder:

1) If I am being watched, will I drive more safely? Or will I hesitate from using my years of experience and skill; knowing that this Drive Smart technology and the human watching the video will not see it the same way, but will grade my actions with a different set of eyes.

2) Can I be myself? Or will I be pointed if I glance out the window and they perceive it was unnecessary, and contribute it to "distracted driving". Or If I stop more quickly than they think is safe, or cross the traffic lines in a normal avoidance of debris, or whatever, and they contribute it to reckless or unsafe driving.

3) Are my rights as a driver being violated by the imposing threat of filming and recording and in general being exploited in the name of big business and government control?

The Human Factor of Driving is being threatened, and each time a smart-drive advisory is sent to dispatch and to safety, it will be used as a violation tool and stacked up in an electronic file with negative impact on the driver and his driving record with that company. Government agencies will eventually want access to all of this "data". and to kick the garbage can a little more, you will have to pass an in-cab sobriety and alertness test each time you enter the cab, How much time will that detract from your day, your job and your income? What about fines associated with violations that the company will charge you? Where is this going for the truck driver?

I am waiting for a government contact to respond on the federal and state side of this question and will post as soon as it arrives.

The Author M. O. Jones
The Author M. O. Jones | Source

© 2015 Oscar Jones


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    • Oscarlites profile imageAUTHOR

      Oscar Jones 

      4 years ago from Monroeville, Alabama

      No, most Truck drivers are not unionized. In fact most have to sign a company sponsored arbitration agreement. MOST of the camera in-cab spying is being done by the larger companies. they are having to convince most drivers to even drive with a camera in the forward-road direction. Yes, the cameras are in plain site. The company usually would monitor the tapes but they could possibly farm it to third party security agencies. coupled with a smart drive feature, the camera could convey messages to the dispatch of things it perceives wrong, and the dispatch would notify the safety officer and then the driver would be called in. It is to be used as a control device. Its purpose is to monitor and control the truck cab, and secondarily to act as a type of black box similar to aircraft. I maintain their are simpler, and less conspicuous ways of doing that. One of the main points is that this is where drivers live, and some even sleep in their trucks for up to thirty days at a time. These drivers complain that it is equivalent to going in their home and living room ad bedroom and spying on them, Some of these remarks you will see in my article later, as I was already addressing them. For Gods sake, We already abolished slavery, and I for one don't want to be guilty of bringing it back in any form. The rights and liberties and freedoms of America are being carved away by the wealthy and those who wish to power their empires with tools such as these. The benefits are not that great at this point, from a company point of view, except in case of accidents, but once you've taken this step into an eerie trilight zone of citizen spy technology, you will see it used to write evaluations, discipline, and for behavior modification.. FIRST though you must numb and dumb up the people. Whereas owners may start out with good intentions, it will lead into a pandas box of policing by invasion of privacy and video/voice recording your every spoken thought. It will fuel the vindictive and vengeful and give ogle eyes a chance to thrive in an unsuspecting environment. That perhaps is the truest breach of liberty , to be at a strangers mercy, and you will never know how this filming will be used. You will live in fear. USA hello!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      Very interesting that they are doing this. I have so many questions, including the following: So who owns the truck? Are these employees or independent contractors? If employees, are they unionized? Can an employee tell where the camera is? What happens if an employee intentionally obscures the camera's recording such as by placing something in front of the camera? Who is monitoring the employee -- HR, supervisor, third party firm, etc.? What do they allege is their rationale?


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