Thursday, June 21, 2012

New York MTA wants to install video cameras to record bus drivers behind the wheel, but union vows to fight the move

The MTA may install video cameras on buses to record drivers behind the wheel — but the union vowed to fight such a move. Metropolitan Transportation Authority executives believe the scrutiny will result in bus drivers operating more safely and efficiently. Transport Workers Union Local 100 said managers just want to harass its employees with disciplinary charges for petty infractions. “We do not agree and will not agree on cameras pointed toward our operators,” Willie Rivera, a bus division chairman with TWU Local 100, said. MTA executives are interested in a technology package being installed on Nassau County buses operated by a private company, Veolia. SmartDrive features an onboard camera pointed at the road ahead and another pointed inward toward the driver and riders. The cameras are always recording but images are only saved in 20-second segments: 10 seconds before and 10 seconds after an extreme maneuver like slamming on the brakes or making a sharp turn, SmartDrive President Jason Palmer said. Sensors feed bus performance data from the engine to an onboard computer. The resulting images and data can be used to instruct drivers on safety and efficiency, Palmer said. Fuel costs can be lowered, for example, if a driver coasts into bus stops rather than keeping pressure on the gas pedal and braking hard at the last moment, he said. “For the most part, the information is used as a training tool,” Palmer said. “It’s just like the coach of a football team sitting down with a player with game film to improve the player’s skills.” The MTA is eying driver cams as a potential project for the capital plan beginning in 2015 but could launch a pilot program in the next couple of years, agency sources said. “It’s something we want to do,” one MTA source said. “It’s not about watching drivers. It’s about lowering our operating costs and safety.” TWU Local 100, which represents MTA drivers in the city, said it had an agreement with the prior administration not to have cameras focused on bus drivers. One MTA source doubted any such pact was binding. In 2010, the MTA awarded a security contract to install surveillance cameras — focused on passengers only — on 426 buses. Last year, it approved rigging up another 1,150 buses under the $32 million contract. Read more:

Monday, June 04, 2012

School Bus Stop Arm Pilot Results Show Cause for Concern in Volusia County - KPTM FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

Cameras show 1,300 drivers speed past stopped school buses on...