Swift Transportation announced internally that the company will deploy dual video recording systems in all company trucks beginning next month. The systems include both forward-facing and driver-facing lenses. Despite the fact that drivers consider the cameras an invasion of privacy, and in the face of difficult driver retention, Swift is moving forward with the cameras.
According to Swift’s website, the company operates more than 18,000 trucks. The company ranks by revenue as the second-largest truckload carrier and the sixth-largest for-hire fleet overall in the most recent Transport Topics Top 100 survey. Swift will be the largest for-hire truckload carrier to use driver-facing cameras.
Driver facing cameras can now assist Swift in determining driver behavior they may not be aware of and enforcing existing safety policies. Swift will be better able to enforce Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding cell phone use and driving. 
When the camera turns on and for what duration depends upon the type of in-cab system. One such system is SmartDrive. Drivers ultimately are responsible for their behavior — which can trigger the system if they slam on the brakes or swerve out of lane. But drivers may also purposely trigger the system to record a video, a feature that has helped drivers document incidents on the highway and at docks, says Adam Kahn of SmartDrive.
It isn’t clear exactly how many Swift trucks will be outfitted with DriveCam. Of the company’s 18,000 trucks, only 6,081 are described as “company owned” in the Transport Topics listing. It is believed that this program will not include “lease-to-own tractors.”
Texting and cell phone restrictions for commercial drivers
The FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have issued rules prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers and drivers who transport certain quantities of hazardous materials from texting or using hand-held mobile phones while driving. The joint rules are the latest actions by the U.S. Department of Transportation to end distracted driving. Violations can result in fines and/or driver disqualifications.
Whether these in-cab camera systems will help improve driver safety and compliance is yet to be seen. This is, however, a step in the right direction.