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Video Cameras in Cab of Commercial Trucks

Updated on February 5, 2016
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.

I ask you; do we live in America, or is it Russia? The lines are getting very blurred as we see invasive new technology choking our freedoms and government overstepping its bounds in trying to catch everyone doing something wrong. I'm sorry but God is the only one I want to watch me 24 hours a day. Our freedoms are quickly being taking away by do-good corporate entities who supposedly want to save money by utilizing new surveillance programs such as the smart drive program. I'm not saying its altogether bad, but having cameras trained on the commercial truck driver from 2 separate angles all day long while he's trying to do his job is nerve-wracking, ludicrous and invasive of his rights as a professional truck driver! Neither is it necessary for truck drivers to be eavesdropped on through smart drive microphones,

The proponents say "oh this is the best thing ever since sliced bread!" They believe it will make the roads safer and truck driving safer. By watching the driver they can see if he's doing anything wrong like using a cellphone, texting or whatever. So in reality it is being used as a deterrent to crime and It is being used as a big brother tool of surveillance towards globalization. It is complying with the post 911 mentality that we need to create a police state. But can you imagine the new industry of "video expert data gathering" employees? Not to speak of the billions of dollars tapped off of our governments budget just to fund this labyrinth of technology gone-amuck! Can you see ahead a little and imagine how interesting it will be when they decide we need secondary cameras to watch and make sure the surveillance is being conducted properly? Billions of our tax money being spent. Billions bilked off of corporate business to hire data experts.. Yes, you will have to have special certificates to be qualified to conduct surveillance operations and be liable to the government as well. More government offices will be created to manage this data at the cost of taxpayers paying unbelievable amounts of taxes. Corporations will have to be billed larger tax fees to cover the data collection agencies that will be created. Again, defense contractors and manufacturers of surveillance camera systems such as the "smart drive" have found a way to capitalize from society and our already run-amuck government spending and slowly increasing cost of national safety.

Private companies who are already making millions in annual profits within the rampant trucking industry are saying, "oh this will lower my insurance costs!" They believe it will slowly increase profits with tighter control of the driver, his time, his attention, and less distractions while driving and doing his job. One supervisor has already told me that "well. if anyone is doing anything wrong in their trucks they need to be caught!" He said " three strikes and they're out", and mentioned that with the use of the in-cab spy camera he recorded enough infractions by one driver in a single day to fire him. Now I'm not going to criticize the need for safety and having safe drivers, and perhaps this was justified. If the supervisor had any reason of suspicion of this driver, he needed to be caught. But originally this same supervisor relayed that he was only going to use the camera system on new drivers while in a training period and on young drivers with less experience.

What about the driver? He has certain rights and in most cases they feel that their privacy is being invaded. They testify they are distracted by the cameras and the lights while they are driving when these devices are set off. That the pressure of videotaping makes the driver second guess his own driving skills and instead drive "for the camera". This in itself is a safety issue (in my mind). Moreover, the idea that the company distrusts the driver is a slur against him, and no longer are we driving because of our own skills and experience. The invasion of privacy in the cab is insulting and breaks down the relationship of the driver with the company. He is no longer an individual with rights and has become a suspect.. He is human and is likely going to make mistakes once in awhile, and now he is being videotaped and recorded, Management is just waiting, poised and armed to the teeth, ready to catch his first and last slip up! Have you ever heard the saying, "a watched pot never boils?" well in this rabbit trap set-up, the pot WILL boil and the driver (with his credentials) could easily become a victim of the supervisor who doesn't like him and then his entire life and future career is effected. He has been reduced to a prisoner in a cell who is NOT free to operate as a free moral agent, NOT free to use his driving skills to their best advantage, and NOT free to conduct his trade as a professional, abiding by the law and regulations already set forth in the industry. Furthermore, while he is second guessing himself with someone else watching him in the cab; while making decisions dozens of times daily to apply safe and conscientious moves of the gear-shifter, brakes, steering wheel and navigating the not so wonderful highways and traffic; IF he is distracted by this new technology that DOES NOT HELP see who is behind him, or who is driving toward him, or to help him in any way to drive better, well, the distraction of this computer eye and human interface could easily be the direct cause of an accident; had he not mentally paused to consider, "what does this stupid camera want me to do now?". (not intending to be disrespectful).

The flip side of this is the ease with which Americans seem to be giving up hard fought for freedoms. George Washington led us to victory against the tyranny of just such overbearing loss of freedoms and greedy under-lords collecting taxes and fees for their own pocketbooks! Remember Valley Forge? Its much more than just being videotaped. Its spy cameras wanting to know everything about you at every level of American society.. The supposed guilt of, "we are going to catch you!" And mark it down, who owns the cameras owns you, owns your future, and controls you and all of society. Think about it for a minute . You don't think other agencies won't tap into the data? That it won't get interconnected just like connecting dots? Let me mention, the old but true word of God says, "you may run to the hills or the rocks but the rocks won't hide you!" Its more like the mentality of socialist rule by a Hitler personality. It certainly sets up the backdrop for the anti-Christ and the one world leader.. Because we allowed ourselves to be boxed up just like rats. I strongly feel the company owners will one day live to regret, for the data will be reached by other entities and turned against the truck companies.. Those who think its so good an idea will one day regret, for they won't be able to move left or right without being stomped on by the big rat catcher. Money won't save them. While they are trying to reveal all the flaws of (truck driver) humans they will build their own trap. Remember the fall of Rome. The leaders, and rulers became the biggest targets and they fell in one day to a more powerful entity.

The stress of having to comply with or drive with someone else second guessing your drivers skills is tantamount to having your mother dress you in the morning for school. Its silly and its unsafe. You will stay in your lane to comply while you should have drove off on the shoulder to avoid the other vehicle. You may get out un-injured, but you will become a basic victim of run- a-muck surveillance technology.

My understanding is that the D.O.T. Commercial Licensed Driver is the operator of the vehicle,. Once that vehicle is on the road he is responsible for compliance and safety according to the FMCSA manual. For any outside entity to interfere and distract his ability to maintain his control of that vehicle is both unsafe and illegal. If he deems that the presence of that camera is distracting him mentally or otherwise causing him distress, then he is going to be vindicated in asking for it to be removed. I believe that we are still human and courts and judges are also human and I don;t think they are going to support or sustain the belief that drivers can be harnessed with electronics and make the roads safer. It seems that technology is pressing towards this goal, but in the meantime, Drivers with 20 years of experience are not likely to be so dumb as to dump their own skills in favor of tinker toy electronics. For instance, the driver is the ultimate decision maker as to where to drive on the road way, He is the legal and responsible party,. He will decide when he needs to cross the lines for safety or other reasons, and he will be held accountable for the safe delivery of the freight. He will decide when to brake and how hard to brake. when to turn his head to look at side, front and rear obstacles, when to turn the steering wheel etc. You cannot with all your effort of robotizing him turn him into a machine, other than what his skills have developed into. Training and other tools of driver improvement belong in the classroom. Once on the road, please leave the driver alone to do his job!

Footnote: Let the D.O.T, enforcement agencies, also do their jobs. "Why you got to interfere with it?"

MOJ/ Oscarlites/ Nov.15, 2015


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