NTSB recommends forward- and inward-looking cameras for safety investigations

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WASHINGTON — Commuter trains and streetcars should have inward-facing video cameras with sound, says a report from the National Transportation Safety Board. The board members published the report Aug. 24 recommending outward- and inward-facing video and audio equipment in part as a result of the investigation of a collision between two subway trains on the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority system on Feb. 17. The report says that one train rear-ended a stationary train near the 69th Street Transportation Center. The driver of the moving train said he could not recall his actions just before the collision. Two passengers and the two operators were injured. Neither train had video or audio equipment aboard.

The NTSB report cites examples dating back to 1995 where video imagery would have helped determine a cause, including a June 2009 collision on the Washington, D.C., Metrorail system that killed the driver and eight passengers.

On the other hand, evidence from an inward-facing camera helped investigators determine the cause of an accident in 2013 in which a Bay Area Rapid Transit train struck and killed two track workers near Walnut Creek, Calif.

The safety agency previously has recommended that the Federal Railroad Administration require that intercity and commuter trains be equipped inward- and outward- facing cameras, with the option of installing audio equipment. The Federal Railroad Administration has not implemented such rules, the report notes. The NTSB recommended similar regulations to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

“The NTSB continues to believe inward- and outward-facing audio and image recorders improve the quality of accident investigations and provide the opportunity for proactive steps by management to improve operational safety,” the report states.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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