DART Bus Drivers Say Cameras Tag Them, but Crimes Ignored


Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s use of surveillance cameras to monitor bus drivers’ behavior is drawing criticism from employees who say they’re being penalized for minor infractions while criminal activity caught on video is going ignored. During a 12-month period that ended in July, DART supervisors coached drivers on behavior caught on camera an average of 678 times a month.

In the year before that, they discussed about 120 incidents a month with drivers.

In May, nearly two years after the cameras were introduced, DART supervisors began writing up employees for infractions caught on video.

That includes for talking on cellphones, speeding, and running red lights.

Write-ups accounted for about 11.1 percent of the 2,552 incidents that supervisors discussed with drivers between May and July.

Some drivers have turned up at DART board meetings since August to complain about the practice.

They say it is heavy-handed, enforced unevenly, and is creating tension among employees.

“I used to love coming to work. Now I come to work stressed and nervous,” LaKesha Bowman said.

DART uses two camera systems on its buses. Security cameras are aimed in several angles to capture videos of passengers, mainly to catch criminal activity.

Two other cameras are pointed at drivers and toward the front exterior of the bus.

DART officials say those devices, called SmartDrive cameras, have a couple of insurance-related purposes.

They’re meant to record accidents and the driver’s behavior leading up to a collision.

Source: dallasnews.com