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Vehicle Cameras See Things Differently

The City of Hamilton is making major changes in its waste collection operations to address employee safety and risk management. In June 2015, the City introduced the Lytx Inc. DriveCam program as a pilot project in ten of its waste collection vehicles to improve driver behaviour and deal with risk concerns. 

The DriveCam program features a palm-sized digital video recording device with two wide-angle cameras facing in and out of each truck. The device operates as an exception-based video event recorder, which provides constant monitoring, but captures 12 second of video and audio footage only when triggered by a potentially risky driving event such as hard braking, swerving, sudden acceleration, or excessive speed.

With the DriveCam® monitoring program, Lytx Inc. reviews the video footage and provides the City with an edited version, which focuses on safety concerns. The City’s training staff use the information from the videos as a coaching tool to help improve employee driving skills.

The device cannot be triggered remotely to view what is happening inside the vehicle. This helps to reduce possible concerns that “Big Brother” is watching. The device can be manually activated by the driver to record an event, such as an interaction with a customer. This feature is particularly helpful to capture the facts if an incident has occurred.  

The DriveCam program offers several benefits, including:

  • Driver training: video footage assists with instructing employees on proper driving techniques.
  • Claims management: audio and video recordings provide an objective account of what happened during an event.
  • Customer service: videos can record details within the surrounding area to assist with customer service issues.

This new technology allowed the City to achieve a significant reduction in its Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration rating, which can be attributed to improved performance expectations. In addition, the City has increased compliance with the Highway Traffic Act’s requirements and realized cost reductions for risk management claims.

“Vehicle cameras have made a tremendous impact on improving our operations,” says Stephen Bailey, Superintendent or Waste Collections, City of Hamilton.

Due to the pilot’s success, the City expanded the program to its entire waste collection fleet in 2016. Overall, the City has been able to promote safer work practices while mitigating road related concerns.