Union Pacific to Begin to Installing In-Cab Cameras
Union Pacific announced last week that they would begin installing in-cab cameras. This makes them the second class one railroad after KCS to make this announcement. UP’s decision comes roughly one month after a federal judge declined the BLET and UTU’s appeal for a ‘status quo’ injunction to prevent KCS from moving forward with their plans to install in-cab cameras pending arbitration.
Apparently, inward facing locomotive cameras are coming. Obviously, there is a great concern from engineers and conductors that the big railroads will use the video from the cameras to spy on and harass railroad employees. However, there may be a silver lining for any trainmen who suffer injuries in grade crossing collisions, train collisions and derailments. After train wrecks, railroad and insurance lawyers often allege the wreck wasn’t really severe and allege the trainman wasn’t jolted, jarred or thrown during the collision.
At our firm, as soon as we are hired, our standard procedure is to subpoena a copy of all video evidence. Time and again in railroad van collision cases (most vans already have inward facing cameras) the van video proves the trainmen are jolted, jarred or thrown despite apparently minor property damage to the van.
The firm of Rome, Arata & Baxley has already used the outward facing locomotive cameras in multiple railroad injury cases. Moving forward, we expect the in-cab locomotive videos will provide even more evidence on the danger of riding in a locomotive. Hopefully, someone from the railroad will use these future videos to realize locomotive seats should have seat belts instead of to simply harass their own employees.