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Technology to improve safety

Locomotive voice and video recorders -- commonly referred to as inward-facing cameras -- can help us understand why an accident happened.  Better still, we can identify if safety is being compromised before an incident occurs through random sampling of footage to detect things like tampering, cell phone use, sleeping and compliance with safety-critical rules.

We know preventing rail accidents and protecting the safety of Canadians outweighs concerns regarding the right to privacy while at work. Employees working in roles that could directly affect their own safety and the safety of others should expect to be monitored. Access to video recordings would be restricted to areas related to rules and standards compliance and would not be available to those in supervisory roles to locomotive crews. Outcomes of any findings would be managed through the collective agreement processes, as they are today.

Changing existing federal legislation

We're ready to improve safety with video and voice recording technology in every locomotive but we need the proper legislation in place.  Existing legislation allows for the installation of video and voice recorders inside the cab of a locomotive, but prohibits railways from reviewing and using the footage for proactive safety use.

On May 16, 2017, Transport Canada released documents indicating proposed changes to the existing legislation through the Transportation Modernization Act.

From 2005-2015, advances in technology led to a 65% decline in railway incidents caused by equipment, a 35% decline related to track, while accidents resulting from human error increased by 11%.

More than 20,000 transit buses in the U.S. were set up with inward-facing cameras and over 4 years, there was a 40% reduction in bus collisions and a 30% reduction in passenger injuries.

We encourage and support Transport Canada in the creation of new legislation and regulations that allow for the use of locomotive video and voice recorders to be used to improve safety.