In Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) installed in-vehicle surveillance systems to help deter crime and prevent false injury claims on buses. The system was first deployed on a single bus route to help quell the behavior of rowdy school children. Later, the program was expanded to include 16 buses that serve the general public. Each bus was equipped with five video cameras, a microphone, and an on-board computer at a cost of $9,700. Passenger movements and conversations with the driver were recorded in the vehicle. On-board computers automatically stored video and audio data, and then re-recorded over it every 72 hours. If there was an incident, and data needed to be examined by an investigator, the automatic re-write feature could be disabled. Passengers are made aware of the surveillance system; signs indicating “Audio Monitoring on These Premises” were posted on each bus. The PSTA plans to equip 100 more buses using a $1.1 million grant.
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