Buses to Get New and Improved Cameras - 8 News NOW

Buses to Get New and Improved Cameras

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There are about 50 buses that have the security cameras. There are about 50 buses that have the security cameras.

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas is among a group of cities around the country where the mass transit system has cameras that can watch and listen to a rider's every move. Officials stress it's a matter of public safety, but some say the new technology is too intrusive.

Currently, there are cameras in about 50 buses and those cameras are being replaced with new high-tech security cameras that can record videos and conversations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"It protects us. It protects our bus operators and it protects the public," said General Manager Larry Kuchera, Veolia Transportation. He said, eventually the cameras will be on all buses.

Veolia is the company that contracts out the buses from the Regional Transportation Commission. Kuchera said the goal of the cameras, with improved video and audio, is about promoting safety and is a matter of company policy. He says the cameras will act as a witness to possible crimes or litigation.

A few years ago, a naked man got onto a bus. The man's antics were caught on camera even as he tried to hijacked the vehicle from the driver.

Kuchera said the recordings will be kept for years in a database system.

"This is big brother with sophisticated recording devices," said Executive Director Dane Claussen, ACLU of Nevada.

He said he understands that people have limited rights to privacy in public spaces like a RTC bus, but it concerns him how long the transit agency keeps the recordings on file.

"I don't know why RTC thinks they need to keep anything for years, if there is nothing happening," Claussen said.


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