Literally, in your face

By Mike Kelly Jefferson, Ohio

I read John Bendel’s column in the February 2017 Land Line about driver-facing cameras in the cab. I drive for Praxair, they have jumped on the driver-facing camera bus with full-time audio. The management decided it’s a great “coaching” tool for them to use. After driving 30-plus years, I view it as an attack on my skill and integrity, as well as being rather condescending. The management people, who administer the “coaching” session, don’t even have CDLs and don’t understand why the drivers have become so angry.

I have asked them if they feel that making a driver angry after a session is healthy. The response was he/she should decide if they are fit enough to get behind the wheel. It is my opinion that the things our drivers have been called to the carpet for is nothing but harassment. For example, seat belts too loose or off when a driver is backing into a tight space, why there was hard-braking when the video shows exactly why – in most cases where the driver is doing nothing wrong.

I find myself getting angry just heading to work knowing that I have to deal with the camera and harassment that comes with it. As with many in the industry, the company is really struggling to get drivers and I think a lot of the problem is because of how they use the cameras. I just really wonder how much the camera situation has impacted the industry because I am currently looking to get completely out of truck driving and I know I’m not alone.

I miss the old days of trucking. Our industry used to be a respectful occupation and that all changed when it became an alternative. LL