If you are a motor carrier, video event recorders are now either the “first thing you do” for safety and risk management or “one of last things you do because you’ve done everything else,” says Drew Schimelpfenig, safety product and integrations manager at Omnitracs. “We are ready for any part of the market.”
About 18 months ago, Omnitracs began gathering feedback from attendees at its user conference in Dallas to develop an integrated video system for its existing in-cab and mobile fleet management platforms.
On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Omnitracs announced the release of an in-cab video solution Critical Event Video (CEV). Fleets can use the new integrated tool to improve driver training and mitigate the liability risks associated with accidents and other critical events such as hard braking, hard stops, loss of stability control and improper following distance, the company said.
CEV is fully integrated with Omnitracs’ Critical Event Reporting (CER) to match front-facing and driver-facing (optional) video with factors such as hard braking, speeding, stability control, following time and collision warning/mitigation, as well as information about the time and location of the event and the truck’s actual speed.
Pricing is another differentiator for CEV, as fleets can leverage their existing data plan with Omnitracs to add video for an incremental cost, he says. The system can also offload videos using Wi-Fi networks.
The driver-facing camera option automatically disengages through a unique integration with Omnitracs Hours of Service – allowing drivers to automatically preserve their own privacy when not on duty. The driver-facing camera and audio will re-engage when the vehicle is moving, he says.
The CEV solution captures high-quality video that can be reviewed within minutes of the triggered event. With DVR functionality, customers can also request video for specific dates and times to provide insights into driver behavior and assist during investigations into incidents that may have occurred without triggering a critical event. Additionally, prequel and sequel features add clips before and after to build a complete timeline of a critical event, creating a comprehensive view of cause and liability.
“At Gypsum Express, our drivers make the difference and we believe in using all of the tools and technology at our disposal to enhance their jobs. This provides us with the supporting evidence to understand what happened at a given encounter and either supports our driver’s actions, or gives us tools for ongoing training. We believe in our drivers and believe in getting better every day,” said John Wight, owner Gypsum Express.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that fatal accidents involving trucks and passenger cars are more than three times as likely to result from the car driver’s behavior. However, when cases are litigated, the transportation company historically bears as much as 90 percent of the damages. Video event recorders can provide visual proof for fleet managers toward the exoneration of drivers in the litigation of critical events.