The use of cam systems in sanitation vehicles has become widespread and the use of such cameras is generally hailed as a step towards improving the industry’s safety. It’s a technology aimed at protecting drivers, fleets and residents.
There are examples from throughout the country:
- In October, Environmental Solutions Group acquired to Alliance Wireless Technologies Inc. (AWTI), with plans to leverage AWTI’s 3rd Eye Cam technology with its chassis and body data and analytics offering.
- That same month, Waste360 talked with Mr. T Carting Corp., based in Glendale, N.Y., about its use of a video-based safety system from San Diego, Calif.-based SmartDrive.
- Also last fall, Lytx unveiled new enhancements to its DriveCam video telematics safety program that it said would “streamline workflow, capture even more unsafe driving behaviors, and make fleet tracking easier for fleet managers on the go.”
- In April, Waste360 looked at how Action Environmental Group was stepping up its company-wide safety efforts by growing its internal safety team and utilizing smart safety tools like third-eye cameras and digital training.
- And Waste Pro USA partnered with Houston-based Alliance Wireless Technologies (AWTI) to acquire and install a high-tech, 360-degree external video system in all 1,800 of its heavy waste collection trucks in nine Southeastern states.
A similar installation took place St. Petersburg, Fla., where the city has installed Lytx cameras in its vehicles.
But now the union representing the city’s sanitation workers is criticizing the cameras. They are arguing that workers feel under surveillance and feared the data the city was collecting could be used against them.
The Tampa Bay Times has more:
"This camera is a distraction," said sanitation worker Anita Richardson, 52, who has spent about 10 years driving garbage trucks for the city. "I'm looking at this camera to make sure I don't make a mistake and end up in the office or lose my job."
Union officials called the meeting with city labor negotiators on Wednesday to declare they had changed their minds about the initiative, which began in April 2016. Back then, the union was cautiously supportive of the program, but under the condition that no drivers would be disciplined for any incidents during a four-month trial period that ended in August.
But now as the city prepares to enter into a three-year, $200,000 contract with Lytx, the California vendor that installed the system, the union wants to pump the brakes.
During the trial period, sanitation drivers were involved in 19 incidents, but only 3 were captured by the two cameras installed in the truck's cab, which face the driver.
The city says the cameras — which record continuously — captured 454 "coachable" incidents, which included driving without a seatbelt, texting while driving and other infractions.