Thursday, October 8, 2009

Metrolink to Install Cameras on its Passenger Trains

Metrolink has announced its plans to install video cameras in all its commuter trains to reduce the occurrence of fatal train crashes.

Metrolink currently has the highest fatality rate compared to the other larger rail systems in the US.

The move comes after the now infamous Chatsworth train accident that killed 25 people after a Metrolink passenger train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train last September 12, 2008.

Investigations of the train accident show that the Metrolink engineer, Robert Sanchez has been text messaging only seconds before the crash.

Now, one year after the accident, Metrolink will have cameras on all 52 passenger trains pointing into each locomotive cab as well as outside facing forward to record activities in front of the train.

The union that represents train engineers opposes putting cameras in trains, and some safety experts doubt its effectiveness.

However, a lot of people see the potential of this move in decreasing man-made errors that causes accidents.

The union may claim invasion of privacy but under California law, it could only apply if the employee has an expectation of privacy.

Since the Metrolink authorities have provided notice of when and where the cameras will be placed, it may be argued that it already took away the expectation of privacy since they were already informed.

Although providing notice would take away the element of surprise, it would also deter the people being monitored from committing the conduct that is sought to be monitored.

Hopefully this move will greatly reduce Metrolink accidents by keeping their employees focused on their work.

For more information about related laws regarding video monitoring in the workplace, you should consult an employment law attorney for more details.