Sudbury councillors worry bus cameras won't keep drivers safe

What happens on every city bus in Sudbury will soon be captured on video.

$275K to be spent outfitting all Sudbury buses with video cameras

What happens on every city bus in Sudbury will soon be captured on video.

City council voted Tuesday night to spend $275,000 to install cameras on all of Sudbury 60 buses, but Coun. Jacques Barbeau said this shouldn't be seen as the solution to all safety concerns.

"If anybody's sitting here thinking this is going to solve all the problems and it's going to stop drunken passengers or passengers under the influence of drugs from assaulting ... it won't," he said. "But it'll stop many other assaults on the buses."

Transit has been testing the cameras on one bus for the past three months.

Coun. Claude Berthiaume said he doesn't like the Big Brother feel of cameras watching bus drivers and riders. He wondered if the $275,000 for cameras would be better spent elsewhere on the bus.

"We do have people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and it won't matter if there's a camera or not," he said.

"So I think we should be looking at installing barricades and spending less money on the cameras."

The recent assaults of several transit drivers has grabbed headlines in Sudbury and has had some calling for the driver’s seat to be protected by a safety cage.

But Mayor Marianne Matichuk doesn't think the council table is the place to make that decision.

"We could debate here, but I really think it needs to go back to the drivers and the people involved," she said.

Drivers, union reps, staff and city councillors have formed a working group to look at making the city bus a safer place — or at least feel that way.