Toll gets go-ahead to film its Victorian truck drivers

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Greg Bush


Toll will begin installing driver-facing cameras in its Victorian fleet after the Fair Work Commission ruled in its favour.

Toll gets go-ahead to film its Victorian truck drivers
Smile. You're on Toll's 'big brother' show.

 

Truck drivers working for Toll in Victoria will soon have video cameras recording their movements after the company scuttled a union campaign against the devices.

Toll has been trying to install driver-facing cameras in its Victorian fleet but the State’s Transport Workers Union (TWU) has opposed the move and labelled it an invasion of privacy.

Both parties this week took their dispute to the Fair Work Commission (FWC), which ruled in Toll’s favour.

Commissioner David Gregory dismissed the union’s claims that the workplace agreement in place for Toll employees did not permit the company to monitor drivers and that the cameras would be in breach of Victoria’s Surveillance Devices Act.

"In summary, I am not satisfied that there is anything in place in terms of a legal or contractual barrier that prevents Toll from doing what it now proposes," Gregory says.

However, Gregory adds that Toll needs to first explain to drivers how the cameras will be used before moving ahead with its plans.

The units, dubbed DriveCam, record vision and audio of what is happening inside and outside the truck.

Toll intends to record drivers working in the company’s Victorian linehaul and bulk liquid cartage operations.

It has been using two-way cameras since 2011 in other parts of Australia but has limited their use to recording events outside the truck in Victoria due to the TWU’s stance.

The system begins automatically recording when it detects G-force events such as harsh braking or swerving, while drivers can also press a button to record other incidents.

Toll’s NQX division in Queensland was the first to begin using the cameras, which are now installed in more than 130 of its trucks.

Toll linehaul manager John King says the cameras have led to a "vast improvement" in tailgating incidents, drivers wearing seatbelts, complying with mobile phone regulations and not smoking in trucks.

Gregory agreed with Toll that recording drivers can identify inappropriate behaviour and aid driver coaching and training.

"I am also satisfied that the evidence indicates the system can contribute to better safety outcomes in the road transport industry and should be considered by the parties in this context," he says.

King told the commission the effectiveness of the cameras would be "fundamentally undermined if the driver-facing cameras were not installed".

For more on Toll's in-cab cameras and the TWU's response, see the August 2014 print edition of Owner//Driver.

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook