Friday, July 29, 2011

Cameras on MetroBuses catch drivers chatting on cell phones

For anyone who has driven in the proximity of a MetroBus, it should come as no surprise that the drivers are doing a bad job.  New cameras installed in the buses for training purposes have caught drivers speeding, driving without seatbelts, running red lights (the most common violation), and even chatting on cell phones.

The Washington Examiner reports the cameras run continuously, but only retain 12 second chunks of video when the bus makes an unusual move, such as braking quickly or hitting something.  That means all those times the MetroBus just comes over in your lane, forcing you to quickly get out of the way sometimes at the risk of other cars, pedestrians, and cyclists, is not even being captured.

The cameras have led to 20 firings and 222 suspensions so far.  Furthermore, Metro used to say about 35% of crashes were their fault.  With the cameras, that number has increased to an admitted 40%.

Cameras were placed on Metro Access vehicles years ago, and have caught 87 drivers sleeping while driving in the past three years.

The cameras have caught some good things, too.  Such as a driver swerving--sending passengers flying--to avoid a four-year-old who had dashed into the street.

Hopefully these cameras will help drivers stay off their cell phones and safely behind the white line on red lights.  We have seen some crazy bus driving in our time in this city.

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