One of the great things about an integrated vehicle tracking system with a fleet dash cam, such as our 4G Smartcam solution, is that it can give you an incredibly detailed picture of what happens when an incident occurs.
But there is one more piece of the jigsaw that will prove revolutionary for fleet safety: driver-facing cameras. With dash cams not only looking out at the road, but also into the vehicle, you can revolutionise fleet risk management through a greater understanding of driver behaviour and decision-making.
The thought of making the announcement to drivers that a dash cam will be looking at them normally sends a shudder down most employers’ spines, laden as it is with the connotations of ‘Big Brother’ surveillance and the conspiracy theories and urban myths that go with it.
Many employers might expect drivers to revolt - every nose pick, every moan about their boss, every sly look at the good-looking person in the vehicle alongside… all recorded and catalogued for future evaluation, they think.
But it isn’t the case - if the implementation is managed properly, concerns are listened to, processes clearly defined and myths or rumours are quickly and decisively quashed.
That’s because driver facing fleet dash cams will prove to be a truly transformational tool, helping the driver, their passengers and other road users to be safer in every possible way.
For a start, it will stop those weak moments when the driver can’t help but take a sneaky peak at the message on their phone - and with the new stricter rules on mobile phone operation that can only be a good thing - but it will also show definitively when they were in the right, proving they were attentive and in control should an incident occur.
If there is a claim made, it could also protect them against fraud or prosecution.
Crucially, forward- and driver-facing fleet dash cams record what is going on in the vehicle, but if nothing out of the ordinary happens, the data is regularly overwritten, while the 4G device sends footage to the cloud for further analysis if a severe event occurs. The 4G fleet dash cams also do not record sound, providing a further argument against the ‘Big Brother’ accusations.
So employers get the best of both worlds: an integrated vehicle tracking system with 4G fleet dash cams which improves driver behaviour and guards their privacy, but also provides evidence when an incident occurs.
Here are five steps for successful implementation. You may have already have done something similar to this when you introduced a vehicle tracking system.
1 Explain why you want to install driver-facing dash cams
It’s important to put foundations in place when you announce the implementation of a scheme. Present a case for doing this from a business, safety and duty of care perspective.
2 Make it clear they are being recorded
When installing fleet dash cams, also put notifications in the vehicle stating that occupants are being recorded, so there are no grey areas.
You don’t want to get into the situation where a driver or passenger can claim that they had not given consent to being recorded, or were unaware. Also, systems such as Smartcam don’t record sound so it is important to make occupants aware of this.
Also, list which vehicles have driver-facing cameras installed, and make it available to employees.
3 Get consent and put it in employment contracts
Further to the above point, having the vehicle tracking system / fleet dash cam policy detailed in an employee’s contract of employment provides another level of protection for a company should issues with staff arise.
4 Data protection and privacy
4G Fleet dash cams fall under the remit of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in 2018, and so you must put in place certain process and follow rules about the storage and usage of what is recorded, in the same way as you would have to with CCTV at your business premises.
You must include information about the use of fleet dash cams in your company policy on using, storing or processing personal data, including how long footage is stored for.
It must also be securely held, with access to data and footage restricted only to employees who have been through the relevant GDPR training and are authorised to access it. All dash cam footage, for example, is held on portals managed by Crystal Ball with strict security protocols for access to it.
5 Promote the safety benefits
If your vehicles carry passengers, it will also provide a safety net for them too. After all, these vehicles are still a workplace: what goes on in them should adhere to the same standards you expect in the office, factory floor or warehouse.
If somebody claims ‘Big Brother’ is watching them, it isn’t the case. In any work environment, employees are monitored closely and driving shouldn’t be treated any differently.
A solid driving policy, clear rules on what is allowed and what isn’t, backed up by the soft power of an integrated vehicle tracking and 4G fleet dash cam system, and your employees will be safer than ever. And they will thank you for it in the end.
Our fully integrated business 4G fleet dash cam tracking system offers cohesive management and protection of your fleet, by allowing you to understand what’s going on both in your vehicles and around them. For more information click here.