Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dallas Police Look for More In-Car Video Systems

Thursday, July 22, 2010

[Link] Joint Council on Transit Wirless Communications

The Joint Council on Transit Wireless Communications is a newly formed organization devoted to assisting the passenger transportation industry with their wireless communications needs. We are a non-advocacy group dedicated to information exchange. Participation from all interested parties is welcome. To ensure that we effectively assist transportation providers with their needs in the rapidly changing field of wireless communications, we particularly promote the involvement of public and private transit organizations, non-emergency medical transport, senior transit, school buses, taxicabs and limousine companies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bus Cameras Catches Thief Who Robs Blind Man at ATM

"The lowest of the low." That was the verdict of a judge on the knifepoint robbery of a blind man, by 35-year-old Dubliner Benny Rice.
Judge Katherine Delahunt gave him a three-and-a-half year jail sentence as well as reactivating a three-year sentence for another offence committed the day after the robbery of blind man Tony Murray (30) at a city centre ATM.
The blind victim was taking cash out of an ATM beside Wynn's hotel on Lower Abbey St in March 2008 when he heard whispering behind him.
Rice, who has 21 previous convictions, and another man already dealt with by the courts, then approached him.
Garda Carol Byrne from Store St station told the Circuit Criminal Court that the victim, who is totally blind and uses a white cane, felt a man reaching around his throat as he was taking €100 out of the ATM.
He heard the man say that he would "cut his throat" if he did not give him the money.
A security man in the vicinity shouted at the two men. As they fled with the victim's cash and ATM card, he rang 999 and then gave chase to D'Olier St where the two robbers jumped on a bus.
The thieves got off the bus nearby and got into a taxi. But a study of CCTV footage on the bus revealed their identities and Rice was interviewed in Cloverhill prison by Garda Byrne.
He admitted his involvement but said he did not realise the man was blind or he would not have carried out the robbery.
The victim told the court in an impact report that "he could never relax in town again" after the incident.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Security Camera Blanket Covers City in China

Buses, supermarkets, department stores and thousands of other public facilities in Urumqi, northwest China, have been fitted with high-definition surveillance cameras ahead of the anniversary of a riot that left almost 200 people dead in the city last year.
A spokesman with the municipal government of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said Thursday that security cameras with special "riot-proof" protective shells have been installed in the city.
Police would monitor the cameras, which were installed on 3,400 buses, and at 200 bus stops, 4,440 streets and lanes, 270 schools and kindergartens, 100 shopping malls and supermarkets, and other places, he said.
The cameras are part of a security reinforcement ahead of the anniversary of the riot of July 5 last year, which left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured.
Xinjiang had recruited 5,000 police officers this year, and police coverage of violent crime, street patrols and emergencies had been stepped up, said a source with the public security department of Xinjiang.
Urumqi police bureau chief Wang Mingshan said police had started drills to deal with emergencies, initiated campaigns to confiscate guns and explosives, and launched a crackdown on violent crime in June

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Judge throws out challenge to Metrolink cameras that monitor engineers

Metrolink’s use of video surveillance cameras in the control cabs of its passenger trains has survived a federal court challenge from a union representing locomotive engineers.
In a case closely watched within the rail industry, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson in Los Angeles dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming the Southern California commuter rail agency violated employees' rights by installing cameras to monitor train engineer activities.
The cameras were placed in both locomotive and passenger car control areas after the 2008 Chatsworth train disaster. Twenty-five people died and more than 100 passengers were injured in that crash when an outbound Metrolink train slammed head on into a freight train.
The Metrolink engineer, who worked for a contractor, had been distracted by text messaging and ran a red light just before the collision, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB has called for all passenger rail systems to install video systems similar to Metrolink's.
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen sued Metrolink in both state and federal court, alleging that the rail agency exceeded its authority and failed to properly negotiate workplace changes. The union also alleged that Metrolink improperly trod into federal regulatory jurisdiction.
But Anderson tossed out the entire lawsuit, finding that engineers retained disciplinary procedural rights and that the union failed to prove violations of federal regulations. The state court case is continuing.
Union officials were reviewing Wednesday’s decision and declined to comment or say whether an appeal was likely.
Metrolink board Chairman Keith Millhouse, an attorney, said the decision was legally sound and a boost to efforts to upgrade safety on the five-county rail system.
“The cameras are critical to making sure there are no rule violations in the cab area,” he said. He said he hoped the ruling ends the legal battle over the cameras.
“I think they lose from a legal standpoint, but also from a public perception standpoint. And I don’t think they want to do that,” he said.
--Rich Connell