Rail Safety Agency to Rule on Train Cameras

Sunday, Jan 12, 2014  |  Updated 7:58 PM EDT
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Rail Safety Agency to Rule on Train Cameras

Two U.S. senators say a federal rail safety agency plans to propose a rule regarding the installation of video cameras aboard trains to monitor drivers and record accidents.

Sen. Charles Schumer, of New York, and Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, said Sunday that they had been informed by the Federal Railroad Administration that it would begin the process of establishing the rule sometime this year.

It would cover cameras installed in train cabs to record unsafe behavior by drivers and outward-facing cameras that scan the tracks.

The National Transportation Safety Board has urged the Railroad Administration for several years to boost the use of safety cameras.

Schumer and Blumenthal publicly urged the FRA to act last month, following a deadly commuter train derailment in New York City.

"I anticipate it would help with the issues, especially regarding people on the tracks," said Max Sutter of New Haven.

Some riders believe the added surveillance is beneficial. Others doubt it will increase safety but may assist investigations.

"If anything does happen, they can hopefully find out what the problem was that derailed the trains because there have been several accidents," said John Doty of New Haven.

Either way, many say it's a good place to start.

"It's an initial effort, and I hope it comes with a more long-term plan as far as increasing safety," said Nicolas Abreu of New York City.

"It is more reassuring to know they are thinking about it actively and they are trying new things they haven't done before on the Metro North Rail," said Sutter.

A public comment period will take place before any cameras are added.

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