The 17,659 surveillance cameras that Philadephia, PA’s SEPTA has in its vehicles and stations have contributed to a significant decrease in the amount of money SEPTA spends on injury and damages claims and in a climate where every dollar counts, that savings is especially significant.
Between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the payout SEPTA made on claims dropped by $11 million, and in this fiscal year, SEPTA is looking to save an additional four or five percent, meaning they’ll spend about $2 million less than they paid out last year.
“Not only is the pay out going down, but somewhat more importantly, the number of claims and the number of lawsuits is also going down,” said SEPTA’s Acting General Counsel Gino Benedetti. Whenever there is any sort of incident on a SEPTA bus or train, whether it be an accident or a run-in with a passenger, the operators fill out an incident report, and the video unit pulls the surveillance footage.
“We’re actually able to see what happened and either convince claimants or their lawyers not to bring the suit at all or use that information successfully in the court process,” Benedetti said.
Through fiscal year 2013, SEPTA had almost 4,200 claims. This fiscal year they have about 2,800 claims. The trend is similar when it comes to lawsuits. Through fiscal year 2013, SEPTA had about 1,800. This fiscal year they are looking at about 1,600 lawsuits.
“I think it’s certainly changed the mindset of the lawyers who routinely sue us,” Benedetti continuedSource: philly.com