DriveCam allows fleet managers to view their drivers using a small video camera mounted behind the vehicle’s rear-view mirror. The recorder captures what the driver sees and hears, inside and outside the vehicle. If the driver has an accident or accelerates, brakes or turns sharply, images and sounds are automatically recorded. The group behind the ‘Big Brother’ style system claims it can improve driver performance and reduce fleet running costs as the system integrates video technology and management software. The occupational risk management advantage is that it allows fleet managers to identify and correct dangerous driving behaviour.
IAM Fleet, the commercial training division of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), endorses DriveCam.
Mark Edwards, IAM Fleet’s head of training, said: ‘DriveCam accurately monitors driver behaviour, can help to identify drivers who require some form of training intervention and can help reduce the risk of road accidents by as much as 50%. ‘As part of a driving risk management programme, we would recommend this system to fleet managers seeking tangible evidence of driver behaviour to help them reduce occupational road risk.’ If an incident is recorded in the vehicle, fleet managers can download the information on to a computer. This enables fleet managers to review an individual driver’s performance, and to take subsequent action where required. DriveCam constantly records on to a digital memory, so it registers information ten seconds before and after an event, showing what happened and why it happened. Information could also be used at a later date as evidence in the settlement of insurance claims. The group has already trialled DriveCam in the United States. Several fleets, including utilities, public transport and logistics companies and more than 200 ambulance operators, have used the technology. The results generated by the system in the US, backed by driver training, have shown that the frequency and severity of accidents can fall by between 30% and 50%. John Kane, sales director at DriveCam Europe, said: ‘Following the highly successful introduction of DriveCam in the USA, where more than 20,000 units have been put into service, we are confident the system can deliver similar improvements in driver performance and reductions in accident rates and running costs for fleet customers in the UK.’