December 8, 2013

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Federal lawmakers call for installation of cameras in trains

WASHINGTON – US Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) Sunday urged the Federal Railroad Administration to immediately begin requiring safety monitoring systems with inward and outward facing cameras in locomotives and operating railway cabs.

Their call comes following the December 1 fatal derailment of a Metro-North train in the Bronx. The Hudson Line train departed from Poughkeepsie to New York City. It took a sharp turn in a 30 mile per hour zone at 82 mph.

Those systems were recommended following a 2008 railway collision in California, but the federal lawmakers said to date, the Federal Railway Administration has yet to take any regulatory action putting the recommendations in place.

Schumer and Blumenthal said that those recording devices could be used to deter against dangerous behavior, like falling asleep or texting and allow rail officials to monitor and correct that behavior before an accident occurred.

It could also be used to determine the cause of a crash. None of those cameras were on the ill-fated Metro-North train. It has been widely reported that the engineer of that train said he had “nodded off” prior to the disaster.


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