Do you have dashcams in your trucks?


A recent article in the Texas Bar Journal by Pierre Grosdidier discussed a Federal Wiretap Act case.  No – it wasn’t a juicy spy-type thing, but it was a nasty situation where a truck driver was charged with the crime of smuggling undocumented aliens in the trailer of his employer’s truck -- and the smoking gun was the recorded audio from his employer-provided dash cam in the company truck.

The basis of the Federal Wiretap Act is that a person has a right to expect conversations won’t be intercepted or recorded by either a governmental or private party.  In this case, the employer placed a dash cam in the company truck, but informed the employees that it only recorded in the event of a traffic incident such as a crash or hard braking.  However, that wasn’t in fact the truth – the dashcam was recording all of the time.

In the end, the Court found that the damning conversation wasn’t admissible as evidence because the defendant, or employee, didn’t consent to having his conversations recorded.

So, what’s the moral of the story?  If you install dashcams in your company vehicles, be sure to get the correct consent from all of your employees beforehand.