If you’re looking for tips on crafting a dash cam policy, it’s safe to assume you’re adding dash cams to your fleet (if you haven’t already).
First off, good choice: From driver exoneration and coaching to potential insurance savings and protection against staged-accident fraud, dash cams provide a lot of benefits to carriers and drivers alike.
Often, though, drivers are resistant to the idea of in-cab cameras. And if you look at it from their perspective, it’s easy to see why. After all, no one wants to feel like they’re under surveillance while they work.
The most important step to getting driver-buy in for dash cams is to do a good job explaining how cameras protect drivers. Another important step is to create a dash cam policy for your company.
A formal dash cam policy that everyone abides by can go a long way to alleviate drivers’ concerns about why the cameras are there, what they record, who can access the footage and what it will be used for.
Here are some general points to consider as you craft a dash cam policy for your organization.
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Why You Are Implementing Dash Cams
Here’s where you spell out the reasons why you’re implementing dash cams and the scope of the program. Reasons might include things like protection of employees and company property, defense against legal claims and driver training.
When talking about scope, you might make it clear that your adoption and use of dash cams is not aimed at constant monitoring of drivers as they go about their day-to-day duties, but rather to improve safety for everyone on the roads while protecting drivers should an accident happen.
How the Camera Program Will Work
In this section of your dash cam policy, lay out the details of your camera program. Among things to address are:
- What vehicles will have dash cams
- How the cameras work
- If the cameras are driver-facing
- If in-cab audio is recorded and when
- If the back office is able to monitor a driver in real-time
- How, where and for how long footage is stored
Who Will Have Access to Dash Cam Footage
When it comes to in-cab cameras, privacy is a major concern for drivers. Your dash cam policy should make it clear that only a select group of people are authorized to access and review dashcam footage, and under what conditions. These may include safety managers, company directors and driver trainers. It is also important to outline not only how drivers themselves may obtain and review footage that involves them, but also outline and make it clear that the footage may be made available to third parties, such as law enforcement, attorneys and insurance companies, depending on the incident.
How Will Dash Footage Be Used
This section should be more in-depth about what situations and circumstances will prompt the retrieval and review of any dashcam footage. The biggest benefit of dashcams for carriers and drivers, of course, is as evidence that a commercial driver was not at fault in an accident. But you should also let your drivers know if and how footage will be used for training, employee reviews and progressive disciplinary actions.
Other Dash cam Policy Considerations
- Have your drivers review and sign your formal dash cam policy as an acknowledgement that they understand it and will abide by it.
- Review your policy annually and update it as needed.
- In addition to creating and sharing the policy, be sure to provide drivers with hands-on training and relevant instructional materials.
- Include in your policy any disciplinary actions a driver might face for damaging, unplugging or covering an in-cab camera.
- Provide a way for drivers to share concerns, complaints and feedback about your dashcam program and policy.
- Consider creating a safe-driver incentive program as part of your camera implementation.
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Luke is a writer, editor and journalist with more than 15 years of experience. His constant goal is to provide valuable content that helps people understand complex concepts, solve problems and make informed decisions.