Coming soon to a car near you: Driver cams

November 28, 2010

In an attempt to increase driver safety, California is giving the green light to allowing video cameras to be mounted onto vehicle windshields. [Sacramento Bee]

The goal, supporters claim, is to make participants aware of bad habits by recording their behavior seconds before and after a crash or erratic driving maneuver.

The new system would not be mandatory and the primary target would be truck, bus, taxi, or other commercial vehicles with large fleets.

California’s new recording law, Assembly Bill 1942, will allow cameras to be mounted on windshields beginning Jan. 1, much as electronic GPS mapping and toll-paying devices are permitted now.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) whose district includes DriveCam, a major manufacturer of car video devices.

DriveCam points to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that found cameras reduced the number of collisions or risky maneuvers per miles driven by 37 percent and 52 percent, respectively, in two groups of truck drivers tested.

Families can buy a windshield camera from DriveCam for about $900, including one year of monitoring during which the firm collects all recordings and provides an analysis to clients for coaching purposes.

Critics are already questioning whether expanding workplace recording intrudes upon privacy in a society where cameras already are used for purposes ranging from monitoring department store aisles to detecting red-light violations.

“We have this fundamental right to privacy, and I don’t think there was a case made for why we need to have continuous recording of drivers and traffic,” said Valerie Small Navarro of the American Civil Liberties Union.


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12 Comments

  1. ososkid says:

    As with any corporation who would own a large fleet, they are not capable of caring about safety. Corporations are not evil, they are a-moral. The only actions they take are the actions that benefit them and benefit them soley, when we meet people like this we refer to them as sociopaths.Its not their fault, Its how they are designed and how the fuduciary responibility laws make them work. There is no concern about the safety of its drivers or of you as a driver on the road with their vehicles. This comes down simply to a piece of paper in some some office desk, most likely in Omaha, that has the results of an algorthm designed to create actuary tables. The results of which clearly explain that the cameras will reduce the cost of insurance, which will in turn increase their bottom line.

    If you believe these corporations have a right to place these cameras in their property I cant tell you thats not a legitimate opinion, but please stop telling me these moves are designed with my safety or yours in mind, it freaking insulting.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. SLORider says:

    Fletcher did was he is supposed to do: represent his constituents. If there was a reason why wine couldn’t be sold out of county wouldn’t you want your representatives to look into it?

    If GPS and phones and other devices are legal, why not cameras? It don’t see anything mandatory here, although I do smell that is coming someday. But on the current facts only, there is nothing wrong with this. Moreover, I think it’s a bit silly the government has to give permission for each and every specific type of item one can mount on their rear view mirror.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  3. standup says:

    “Miss, we believe that you were pre-occupied with picking your nose and that led to the crash”.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  4. Bert says:

    This is about money not safety, Fletcher owed the company a favor and alas we have this.

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
    • danika says:

      If he’s gonna invade my bedroom, he best clean and vacuum while he’s there!

      (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
    • Cindy says:

      This is certainly about money. Why are people so foolish as to buy into this stuff?

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
    • SLORider says:

      Fletcher did was he is supposed to do: represent his constituents. If there was a reason why wine couldn’t be sold out of county wouldn’t you want your representatives to look into it?

      If GPS and phones and other devices are legal, why not cameras? It don’t see anything mandatory here, although I do smell that is coming someday. But on the current facts only, there is nothing wrong with this. Moreover, I think it’s a bit silly the government has to give permission for each and every specific type of item one can mount on their rear view mirror.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
      • Smacks Forehead says:

        I agree that Fletcher was doing his job but it is disappointing that the Bill passed.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • justme says:

      What’s new? Usually it’s insurance co. money behind the push for mandatory safety gear passage. Everybody makes money and looks compassionate doing it, perfect. The goal of insurance co’s. is reducing payouts, thus we have belts, bags, bumpers etc. And the fact a “smart congressman” get’s invested in the stuff BEFORE he votes it in. Ins. co’s pushed thru no hands-on cell use, etc.

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  5. MahKinaPacal says:

    Now you can record a hummer in a hummer, and upload it before you arrive at your destination.

    (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
  6. TacomaRose says:

    Soon big brother will be in the bedroom … to records bad habits of course.

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  7. TacomaRose says:

    Soon big brother will be in the bedroom

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down

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