Amy Witherite Discusses Walmart’s Decision To Test Dual-Facing Cameras In Semis

Dallas, 04/25/2017 /SubmitPressRelease123/

By now, you have probably heard of the fatal semi-truck wreck involving a Walmart truck driver, Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, GA, and comedian Tracy Morgan. Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury, but his friend, James McNair, was killed in the accident. Investigators discovered that the truck driver who caused the accident had been awake for 28 hours straight at the time of the wreck and was charged with manslaughter.

The truck wreck brought new awareness to the issue of “trucker fatigue” and the abuse of hours of service regulations, which currently limit truck drivers to 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has placed some of the blame for the accident on Walmart, saying the company should have done a better job of training and educating their drivers.

NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart believes regulations can only go so far and that companies that employ truck drivers must be vigilant about creating a work culture that discourages violations of safety rules to prevent truck wrecks.

Inward-Facing Cameras Divide Truckers

Perhaps in response, Walmart recently announced that it is testing dual-facing cameras in some of their semi-trucks. The retail giant has a fleet of about 6,000 trucks. Currently, the program is volunteer-only, with the dual-facing cameras only placed in trucks of drivers who agree to have them on board.

Amy Witherite, co-founder and principal of Eberstein Witherite says, “There are other trucking companies exploring the idea of having these types of cameras in their trucks. Some companies have combined the cameras with other technologies, such as warning systems that signal a trucker when the truck drifts out of a lane. There are even safety systems that brake automatically if a truck gets too close to another vehicle.”

The dual cameras record both the view immediately ahead of a semi, as well as the interior of the truck, including the driver. The goal is to cut down on safety violations, including texting and driving, talking on cell phones, and driver inattention — all activities that can cause a devastating truck accident.

However, not all truck drivers are thrilled with the idea of inward-facing cameras.

One trucker likened the interior of his cab to his office, and the area behind his front seat as his home away from home, where he sleeps when he’s on the road. He compared the camera to a Peeping Tom, claiming that the camera is a serious invasion of privacy.

Other drivers support the dual cameras, saying it protects them in the event of an accident. They claim that having video footage of the road as well as their actions behind the wheel can prove they were not responsible for a collision.   


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