Friday, July 02, 2010

Union loses bid to oust in-cab cameras

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A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit, brought by Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, claiming that Metrolink violated train engineers' rights by installing cameras to monitor their activities.

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The cameras were installed after the September 2008 Chatsworth, Calif., accident in which 25 people died and more than 100 passengers were injured when a Metrolink commuter train hit a Union Pacific freight train head-on.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which found that the Metrolink engineer had been text messaging and ran a red light just before the collision, called for all passenger rail systems to install video monitors.

The District Court judge ruled that the union failed to prove violations of federal regulations. A state court case is continuing.

“The cameras are critical to making sure there are no rule violations in the cab area,” said Metrolink Board Chairman Keith Millhouse, a lawyer, adding that he hoped the ruling ends the legal battle.