Saturday, January 19, 2013
About those cameras on the new buses
January 18, 2013 Audio/video systems help improve safety for operators and passengers Security cameras on TriMet buses, MAX trains and platforms are a valuable tool to help provide safety and security for riders and operators. Beginning in 1997 all new buses came with cameras installed. Today nearly all buses and all MAX trains have cameras. By the end of 2013, all MAX platforms will have cameras as well. Video provides real images to help tell the full story of an incident and reduces the need to rely on “he said, she said” witness information. Video has led to many successful prosecutions of criminals for incidents, including serious assaults. Video has also helped refute erroneous claims against operators. However, in some cases video may not have been available or failed to capture the interaction. In addition to the emergency audio we have on every bus, TriMet’s new 3000 series buses have eight cameras placed throughout the vehicle complete with audio recording capabilities. The audio recording feature came standard from the manufacturer. The audio capability will provide another piece of information to create a more complete picture of a given incident, collision and/or claim of injury. The video/audio systems in our 3000 series buses are activated and recording now, and signs are posted inside the bus indicating that they are in use. How the Audio/Video system will be used This system is incident based, so if nothing happens on the bus, no one watches or listens to the recordings. TriMet only pulls the audio/video if it’s necessary to investigate incidents, collisions and/or claims of injury. It is not being monitored in real time. Recordings may also be turned over to law enforcement to assist in their investigation of possible criminal conduct. Across the country transit agencies are utilizing this technology on buses for safety, security and as a cost savings measure to protect against fraudulent claims. These systems can act as a deterrent to criminal and inappropriate behavior. They can also be used as a training tool— teaching operators how to deal with different scenarios. This system will help advance TriMet’s safety initiatives.