Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

You're on Driver Cam: Dolese Hopes Video System Can Increase Safety, Cut Costs

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

You're on Driver Cam: Dolese Hopes Video System Can Increase Safety, Cut Costs

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Dolese Bros. Co. is the latest company to turn to technology to improve driver safety. The ready-mix cement business implemented an in-cab video recording system, which could lead to fewer accidents and reduce insurance costs.

Occupational Health and Safety Director Gaylan Towle said the company plans to reward safe drivers with promotions and raises. He said his aim is to use the new system as a coaching tool to improve safety, not to punish drivers.

Dolese began a pilot program in December 2014, adding video cameras and sensors to 66 heavy trucks that carry cement. Cameras are activated if a driver brakes too quickly, turns too sharply, swerves or accelerates too fast.

San Diego-based Lytx provides the equipment and reviews footage for the Driver Cam service. Lytx notifies Dolese if a driver's behavior is deemed risky, with a link to the video. Dolese supervisors examine the recordings and coach employees on how to avoid those actions in the future.

Dolese truck driver Lewis Allen said he relies on his camera to prove he's driving safely. Tuesday, he navigated around a red Dodge Charger as he pulled the cement mixing truck onto Interstate 235. He moved out of the right-most lane around a white pickup and trailer stopped on the shoulder, and a red light on the windshield-mounted camera lit up.

If the supervisor determines his moves aren't risky, then he isn't called in for coaching. Allen said he once hit the camera's record button when another motorist cut him off near an interstate exit.

"I'm a cool, calm and collected kind of guy, but she was driving so dangerously," he said. "I pushed the button so they could see what happened. I like the fact (the camera) is there. I know I can get a witness real quick."

Towle said Allen is an exemplary driver who hasn't had any coachable moments in the nine months since he received a camera system. But Towle was looking for ways to reduce accidents company- wide. Safety Coordinator David Finley said Dolese has about 3.5 mixing truck rollovers per year. A rollover can cost Dolese as much as $1 million, Towle said.

A large-truck crash can cost about $90,000, and a crash with injuries can cost as much as $200,000, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. …

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