It’s well known that hard working hauliers put in long hours, and driving for extended lengths of time on haulage jobs can make you lose focus remarkably easily. A survey carried out by Commercial Motor among HGV businesses revealed that around one third of firms had concerns about their workers being distracted while on the road. The question is, could in-cab cameras make a difference?
A large number of firms are making plans to invest in in-cab camera technology to monitor their drivers during working hours, to make sure that any signs of fatigue or distraction are dealt with quickly and efficiently. This way, operators can manage their fleets from afar and make sure that individual employees are working to the best of their ability.
Safety is a key factor to bring into the argument, since distracted drivers are in danger of causing incidents on the road. Having a well-managed and observed fleet at all times could significantly reduce this possibility, and overall make the roads safer for not only those on haulage jobs but also other motorists and pedestrians.
A Private Matter
One concern that has been aired is that in-cab cameras are an invasion of privacy. Even those with nothing to hide may feel uncomfortable about this, so might not be able to go about their job in the same way they usually would. Stopping for short power naps, service station breaks and even singing along to the radio are all things that drivers could feel they need to stop doing when being watched 24/7!
This issue could even have an effect on working relationships between drivers and their supervisors – few people would feel totally comfortable being watched on the job by a fellow haulier or superior, whatever their relationships outside of work.
Safety is imperative on haulage jobs, so while there are concerns that in-cab cameras will invade privacy, they would be a fantastic addition to lorries from a safety perspective. The cameras can provide a sense of security for the hauliers, particularly overnight drivers, as any damage to the vehicle would be recorded and easily used as evidence.
As well as potentially reducing road incidents and saving lives of other motorists and pedestrians, in-cab cameras could make haulage jobs even safer for the hauliers themselves. Truck-jackers are a real threat to overnight drivers, so providing a sense of security (and a reliable source of evidence) could off more peace of mind when it comes to this aspect of haulage jobs.
There are both pros and cons to installing in-cab cameras, but with all factors considered, it isn’t surprising that many firms are making their decision with a safety-conscious mindset. Alert workers, overnight precaution and generally improved driving is exactly what haulage firms need to operate at their best.
While privacy is still something that needs to be considered, employees should be made aware of the safety factors and understand that overall, installing cameras is a highly effective way to reduce the number of incidents and accidents.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers, and is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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