Faccenda Foods, one of the UK’s leading food companies, says that it is so pleased with the success of its new 3G in-cab ‘witness’ cameras and GPS vehicle tracking – provided by Verilocation – on its crew cab fleet that it is now likely to fit the cameras onto the “majority” of its van fleet.
Faccenda Foods is a national vertically integrated poultry focused business providing fresh and convenience food solutions for the UK retail and food service sectors.
The company decided to install the 3G IT1000 witness cameras, which are manufactured by Intelligent Telematics and are the most sophisticated and powerful devices currently available in the market, along with GPS vehicle tracking, for the dual purpose of driver monitoring and incident management. However, it then discovered additional benefits in the form of speedy insurance claims processing and lower insurance premiums.
Ian Ashley, Head of Transport and Safety Operations for Faccenda Foods, comments: “Fitting the Verilocation system, which incorporates both the camera and driver behaviour monitoring, has enabled us to not only be reactive when incidents happen but be proactive in how we manage both our vehicles and driver performance."
Faccenda already has a telematics system in place for its larger HGV artic
fleet used for livehaul and chilled distribution. Having a proper telematics system on its crew cab fleet – where four to seven passengers might be on board – has enabled Faccenda to monitor a raft of driver behaviour such as how long a driver might use cruise control; how long the vehicle is idling and if the passengers are distracting the driver.
“In essence, telematics tells us how a vehicle is being driven, how economically it is being driven so there’s an environmental aspect to it as well as commercial aspect,” says Ian.
Ian says that the decision to fit the cameras and tracking to its 16 rigid vehicles in the crew cab fleet was initially sparked by the need for telematics in order to obtain consistency across the entire fleet. However, Faccenda immediately saw the benefits of the forward-facing cameras when – just a few weeks after having the cameras installed – the company’s vehicles were involved in a couple of Faccenda non-fault road traffic collisions (RTC).
“The accuracy and quality of the video footage was able to dispel any ambiguity with regard to liability,” says Ian. “This obviously enabled us to provide the relevant parties, including the police, with the evidence of what had happened and enabled us to speed up the claims process and ultimately assist in keeping our insurance premiums down.”
He believes that one of the most important aspects of the system is the ability to see “something in real time”. “It allows us to see video when required rather than have the rather laborious task of going round to every vehicle or going to find the vehicle when there was a problem and having to take the memory card out – this system is accessible and far simpler.”
The company is now assessing whether to install witness cameras and tracking on to its van fleet.
“We will be putting more cameras on our fleet – we are currently looking at putting them on to our van fleet – around 60-70 vans,” says Ian.
According to Intelligent Telematics, the camera system can cut accidents by 45% and bring down related accident costs by 27%. The figures are based on an analysis of 2000 vehicles using the IT1000 camera over 6 months.
With the incidence of ‘crash for cash’ scams and fraudulent insurance claims on the rise, in-vehicle witness cameras are increasingly popular as commercial fleet owners strive to protect themselves against soaring insurance costs and vehicle and employee downtime.
Andrew Overton, managing director of Verilocation, says: “Companies like Faccenda are finding that the IT1000 cameras are hugely beneficial in a number of ways, not least of which are lower insurance premiums and risk reduction. Video footage removes any subjectivity and generally presents a conclusive version of events, so can be critical when insurers decide on the outcome of a claim.”