Move in response to assaults on drivers in 2013
The city announced Wednesday it has finished installing video surveillance systems on all 60 of its transit buses. Each bus has a digital video recorder and five interior cameras that monitor passenger seating, front and back bus doors and surrounding traffic.
In a news release, officials said the cameras won't necessarily stop all incidents, but they act as a deterrent, as well as evidence for any criminal cases.
“Digital video recording systems deter criminal activities by assisting police in identification,” Robert Gauthier, Greater Sudbury's manager of transit operations, is quoted as saying in a news release. “This is an important step to reduce the risk of assault on bus operators and to restore passenger confidence in the overall safety of the local public transit system.”
The cameras were already under consideration in 2013 when a spate of assaults on transit operators put driver safety into the spotlight. A Greater Sudbury Transit Safety Task Force was created last June at the request of Mayor Marianne Matichuk. It included councillors and representatives from police, union and staff, and they supported the camera proposal.
In addition to cameras, new mobile radio units were installed on the buses in 2013. A silent alarm system triggers an alert to transit supervisors who will hear and record events as they occur on the bus, contacting police as necessary.
The cameras cost about $250,000, and were approved by city council in October. The news release from the city said the task force continues “to move forward with enhanced safety measures for the fleet and downtown terminal.”