Transport: A Deeper Dive
April 14, 2023
The Delivery Method
April 28, 2023

Say “Cheese.”

The 411 on the DFC

The American Transportation Research Institute recently release a report: “Issues and Opportunities with Driver-Facing Cameras.”

(About the word “issues.” In our world, that’s a gentler way of saying “problems.”)

At issue is the rollout of the awkwardly-acronymed DFCs/RFCs: driver-facing cameras and road-facing cameras. As ATRI’s press release reveals:

“Driver approval of driver-facing cameras tends to be low – just 2.24 on a 0-to-10 scale among 650 current users from across the industry. Low scores are driven in part by limited experience, confusion over the variety of camera systems, unclear carrier policies, and strong concerns about privacy.”

And then there’s this: “Women rated the protection of their privacy with driver-facing cameras onboard 34 percent lower than did men.”

One of the central points of contention is the “preference for event-based driver-facing cameras over continuously recording cameras.” Both insurance and legal experts agree with what seems to be a carrier consensus that video access be limited to safety managers as much as possible in either scenario.

So…technology. It’s advancing, and it’s being applied ⏤ sometimes for all the best of intentions (i.e., safety and prevention) and sometimes just because (i.e., let’s say, maybe, non-fungible tokens).

As a 3PL, we’ve always admired the best-in-class technologies that help our drivers transport their loads safely, securely, and efficiently. Ours is a choice; drivers are often subject to mandates, delivered by such authorities as the companies they work for and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (Click HERE for a link to all the FMCSA rules and regulations.)

And so the negotiating for balance. ATRI’s study focused on key issues for drivers and DFCs (driver-facing cameras):

  • DFCs’ ability to improve safety (“Safety”);
  • DFCs’ ability to positively impact litigation (“Litigation”);
  • DFCs’ ability to protect driver privacy (“Privacy”); and
  • overall approval rating of DFCs (“Approval”).

Progress is often messy and complicated. And it reminds us of Danny Ray, one of the drivers we profiled last year. The headline: “Old School Trucking at Its Finest.”

Said Danny, “The people I deal with, they call me. I give them a price. We agree on it. When I get the machinery there, I get paid for what I deliver. It’s all verbal and vocal.”

Highway and road safety is the top priority throughout the industry. Still, sometimes it seems that things get complicated because we make them more complicated.