It seems that cameras are everywhere nowadays: cell phone cameras, security cameras and now dash cameras. In this age of the truck driver is always guilty mentality, many truck drivers are now turning to dash cameras.
Even if you’re not involved in an accident, dash camera footage could help you avoid trouble in other ways, as well. For example, how many times have you gotten flipped off by a driver, angered a driver or received a complaint by a frustrated driver over something you had no control over?
We recently heard from a driver who said a motorist called his company and complained about his driving. She said the driver refused to get over when she was trying to merge into traffic. The driver said he couldn’t get over for the driver because traffic was too thick. The driver said he is now investing in a dash camera that also uses his mirrors.
In August, truck driver Debra Miller’s dash cam footage helped her get out of two traffic citations.
The video below shows Miller attempting to make a left turn, when a car suddenly comes around her and hits the side of Miller’s truck.
Miller says if it had not been for her dash cam footage, she doubts troopers would have believed that the accident was not her fault.
The second citation, Miller feels her dash cam footage helped her avoid, involved a school bus. Miller was accused of passing a school bus with its flashing lights on, but when Miller replayed the footage, it proved that the bus’s lights were not on, and Miller had not done anything wrong.
“Primarily, people are trying to find a way to protect themselves and their jobs,” John Asson’s owner of VisionDrive said. “A truck driver was pulled over by police after being accused of tailgating by a motorist. The driver had video evidence this wasn’t the case, and the complaint was dropped.”
Because the use of dash cameras in vehicles is a fairly new practice, laws regarding privacy have not yet caught up. Van Nuys Transportation Law Attorney Mher Asatryan stated that the use of dash cameras is legal, however, he says there are some exceptions.
“Some states actually have eavesdropping laws which require the consent of both parties before any video taping takes place. As a result, these laws have been interpreted to prevent individuals from video taping encounters with the police. However, the legal reasoning behind these cases is shaky and has often been struck down. Also, many of these cases revolve around hidden camera; thus, if you are not hiding your camera and it is obvious and out in the open, you have a better argument against these laws.”
Asatryan states ” shipper cannot really ask you to turn off your camera, especially if use of a dash mounted camera is not mentioned in the bill of lading or any other agreement between shipper and carrier.”
However, he says that if the shipper is located in a state with mutual consent laws, you may be required to turn off your camera during the loading or unloading process.
The following states have mutual-consent laws:
- New Hampshire
Again, “If you are not hiding your camera, and it is obvious and out in the open, you have a better argument against these laws.”
Do you use a dash camera? Has it ever helped you avoid a citation? Tell us your story.