Driver-facing cameras have always been a problem for truck drivers from inception but owners insist they are vital for both driver and truck safety.
In South Africa, trucking companies install them on their trucks claiming it’s a requirement by their insurers or for safety reasons.
The same cannot be said in countries like Canada where a Superior Court ruled that the cameras invade truck drivers’ privacy.
Truck drivers for a Canadian trucking company Sysco Quebec filed complaints about the cameras, claiming they would randomly start recording several times a day.
After arguements, the Canadian court ruled that driver-facing cameras violate a trucker’s right to privacy and ordered Sysco Quebec to remove the devices from their trucks.
According to TVA Nouvelles, the truck drivers of Sysco Quebec fought a five year battle to get the driver-facing cameras removed.
South African trucking companies started installing DriveCam driver-facing cameras in their trucks, claiming that they were only to be used to record evidence in case of an accident but many drivers have lost their jobs for allegedly tampering with the devices when they are retiring for bed.
Initially the cameras were meant to record only specific events, such as sudden braking, for 12 seconds at a time. However, soon after the DriveCam cameras were installed, they have captured events outside of the disclosed purposes and led to drivers facing disciplinary action.
Sysco Quebec truck drivers said they felt “watched” and “intimidated.”
In 2016, an arbitration panel reviewed the complaints and ordered Sysco to remove the driver-facing cameras.
The arbitration tribunal called the cameras a “particularly intrusive” method to promote workplace safety, as the cab of a truck is more private than an office or other workplace.
Sysco contested the arbitration panel’s decision and the case was elevated to the Quebec Superior Court, which also sided with the drivers.