Many Stockholm bus drivers to be equipped with body cameras
14 Nov 2017, 01:26 ( 14 Nov, 2017)
In a bid to combat physical and verbal assault of public transport staff in Stockholm, many bus drivers and security guards will be equipped with body cameras since next year.
Ticket inspectors may also have access to the 30 to 40 cameras that, starting January 2018, will be distributed among staff members within the Stockholm public transport group SL, Swedish Television reported on Monday.
"We know that our staff members are subjected to threats, violence and harassment and so we want to use the tools that are available to counteract that," Stockholm traffic commissioner Kristoffer Tamsons told Swedish Television.
The decision comes after a pilot project where 15 bus drivers on two Stockholm routes carried cameras for three months. Five cameras were used during the trial period and none of the bus drivers were physically or verbally assaulted during the trial, said Kenny Bungss, a safety officer at the bus operator Arriva.
"We already have cameras on the buses, but it's a normalization process. People stop thinking about them. Now, when there is more awareness about this and when people see a camera on the driver as they step on the bus, then they will react and think twice," Bungss insisted.
Swedish Television spoke to a number of Stockholm bus drivers who are responsible for routes that are particularly plagued by violence. They said that they do not want to be responsible for checking passengers' tickets and said that having ticket inspectors onboard the buses would be a better and simpler way of preventing violent behavior than equipping drivers with body cameras.
Tamsons, however, said that he sees no reason for changing the system and that he wants to keep the current routines, where the bus driver operates the bus as well as checks tickets as passengers come onboard.