New public bus cameras improving security: RDN

By Ian Holmes
August 28, 2017 - 3:32pm

Each of the RDN's 49 long buses are outfitted with 14 of these cameras.Katie-Lynn Dandeno/Submitted

NANAIMO — Extra eyes and ears on local buses appears to have made transit in the mid-island safer.

Manager of transit operations Daniel Pearce with the Regional District of Nanaimo said new security cameras on their long buses are doing what they intended.

“They have greatly improved the security for both the passengers and operators,” Pearce told NanaimoNewsNOW.

All 49 long buses, serving from Cedar to Qualicum Beach, now have 14 cameras located inside and outside the buses, which capture both audio and video. They were installed between the fall of 2016 and early 2017.

Pearce said there's been a sharp drop in cases involving conflict aboard the buses since the cameras started rolling several months ago.

“When (operators) are dealing with some riders that could be more confrontational, once (passengers) see the cameras and they know that they're being recorded, they tend to step away from the situation.”

Pearce said the surveillance cameras have gone beyond protecting drivers and improving safety for everybody else on their buses. He said RCMP investigations such as missing persons cases have been advanced and the footage has been used to resolve ICBC crash claims.

An average of five to seven videos a week are viewed, while the RCMP requests to see roughly two videos a month, Pearce said.

The surveillance cameras were paid for by BC Transit.

NanaimoNewsNOW is waiting for comment from CUPE Local 401 to hear its assessment of how the security cameras are working for its unionized transit operators.

 

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