Minibus operators often ask us where they can place cameras on their vehicles. Four considerations must be accounted for before deciding: Recording of journey footage, passenger safety/security, driver safety and driver assistance.
So, let’s look at these options in turn:
The main reason to get vehicle cameras is to ensure that if an incident occurs, you have the footage to protect you against no-fault accidents and fraudulent claims. To combat this, a forward-facing camera (fitted just at the top of the windscreen, just behind the rear-view mirror) is the most popular option as well as a rear camera. The rear camera is installed on top of the rear doors looking out towards the traffic and/or facing down on the rear doors.
You may want to opt for side-facing cameras. These are installed on the front quarter panel on the near-side or both near-side and off-side and records the view back along bus. This will be very useful for any accident that may occur on the side of the vehicle.
A few fleet managers think a single ‘dashcam’ facing forward will suffice for a minibus, however, this isn’t the case. Read the articles below for more information:
Passenger carrying fleets should properly protect themselves from criminal and legal issues. Inside cameras can capture any activities or situations in the vehicle. Footage gathered from the cameras can be used in court if required.
For example, many accidents occur when passengers are coming on and off the vehicle. The video will record any troublesome activities that causes an incident. As well as this, footage of passengers who get aggressive or violent or do anything dangerous can be very useful in court.
Cameras can therefore be placed at the back facing forward and at the front facing back.
Minibus drivers tend to drive in highly populated areas and unfortunately can be subject to verbal abuse or physical assault. The front and rear inside cameras can offer some cover but preferably a dome camera facing the driver should be installed.
An extra benefit of this is that, if an accident occurs, the driver will have evidence to show that they were paying attention to the road and were not on the phone or distracted in some other way.
Also, just having in-cab cameras installed has been shown to reduce the number of accidents caused by distraction and mobile use, which is a win-win for fleet managers.
The cameras can also be of major assistance to the driver. With the monitor in front the driver, they can monitor any misbehaviour from passengers that may be going on while driving. When reversing, with a rear and side cameras installed, the driver can check the space they have, reducing the risk of tips and bumps. If the driver is turning left or right, the side cameras will let them know if there are any hazards alongside them.