Vehicle Camera Systems: Our Fail-Safe Guide to Achieving Driver Buy-In
It’s a question we frequently get asked, especially as vehicle camera systems evolve into more comprehensive, multi-camera solutions with driver-facing cameras and continuous recording DVR systems. Many drivers simply just don’t like the idea of being “watched” whilst they work. And who can blame them? However, much of this backlash is being driven from misconceptions around the camera systems and how they are being used, and what they are being used for. They are seen as the ‘spy in the cab’. An invasion of privacy. Put there as CCTV to catch them out. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As any transport manager would know, there is barely time in the day to catch your breath, let alone spend hours staring at the computer screen watching your drivers going about their business. So how can you dispel all their worries and get your drivers on-board with your chosen camera system? As with any relationship, it’s all about communication!
We’ve put together our fail-safe 6 steps to achieving driver buy-in through simple communication and company transparency:
Start with a Trial
Before implementing a new camera system across your fleet, you might want to think about trialling the system in a few vehicles first. Not only does this allow you to give the system a good test run before you make your investment but it also allows your drivers to see how the business will be using the camera system and how they work first hand. This will give your drivers the chance to familiarise themselves with the system and for you to iron out any issues they may have before they get installed.
Explain Why You Are Installing Them
Prior to installation, bring your drivers into the office – either all together or individually – and have a quick chat with them about why the business is looking to install the vehicle camera system and how it will benefit all parties involved. Explain to them the intended purpose of installing the cameras, such as helping to mitigate any false claims against your drivers and improving over all fleet safety.
Why do companies install vehicle camera systems?
One of the main reasons that companies consider investing in a camera solution is due to their safety concerns. Both for the driver and other road users. Multi-camera devices and in-cab monitors help towards keeping other road users safe by eliminating blind spots and altering driver behaviour.
Like safety, protection of your drivers is highly important as they can often be in vulnerable situations such as finding themselves the victims of false claims, road-rage and even theft. Having a true witness sat in your drivers’ cab 24/7 recording all incidents, is an indisputable way to protect your drivers.
Explain how they work
In order for you to be able to make your drivers feel comfortable about the cameras you need to be completely transparent about how the footage is viewed, who has access to view it (internally and also externally, such as your insurance company), how long the cameras record for after the ignition is turned off, how long it is stored for and also what additional GPS and accelerometer data comes through from the hardware. Showing them where the cameras will be installed on the vehicles and run them through the software used to view the footage, will help give them clarity and confidence in the solution.
Show Example Footage
Another great way of delivering total transparency in your intentions is to show your drivers example footage of past incidents to reinforce the justification of buying a camera. Ask your camera provider for footage where the evidence exonerated the driver (e.g. false insurance claims), or even protected the driver (e.g. victims of road rage)
Get our in-house Driver Trainer’s point of view in Episode 10 of #AskMark
Remember to give Positive Feedback
Even after the camera system is installed you will still need to put the effort in to ensure your drivers remain positive about them. Perhaps think about how you can praise or even reward your drivers for good driving. Did their quick thinking and attention to the road save them from avoiding a potentially dangerous crash? Does the accelerometer data from the hardware show consistent efficient and safe driving styles? Offering praise or rewards for good driver performance is a simple way to keep your drivers on board, but also to keep them motivated to improve their driving. Incentives such as leader boards, awards or even an extra day of holiday are simple and cost-effective ways to encourage better driver performance and develop excitement amongst your drivers. Coupled with regular reviews of driver performance and further training, incentives can be a useful way to show your drivers that you care about them.
Stay True to Your Word
Finally, the best way to keep drivers happy with the cameras is for you to stay true to your word. Do everything you have said you will, and make sure not to use the cameras for your own curiosity or outside the realms of your data policy.
Looking for a vehicle camera system? Verilocation offers an extensive range of vehicle CCTV options from single forward facing dash cams to multi-camera MDVR systems, allowing you to build the perfect package to suit your exact fleet requirements.