No panic buttons, cameras for trains

2012-09-17 22:37

Cape Town - Transport Minister Ben Martins poured cold water on Monday on proposals to install closed circuit cameras and panic buttons in trains.

Replying in writing to a parliamentary question, Martins said extensive technical evaluation had been conducted to check the viability of such safety measures.

"The result of the technical evaluation was that the interior design of the current coaches was not conducive to installing and incapable of offering the requisite level of protection to the CCTV camera unit to ensure a sustainable and vandal proof video surveillance service." Martins said.

The design of the coaches was also not conducive to installing accompanying components for CCTV coverage.

The evaluation found the installation of panic buttons was possible, but not practical.

"The potential to activate the panic alarm for deviant, malicious and/or nuisance purposes without the instant ability to confirm the validity of the activation and the circumstances surrounding the reason for activation outweighed the possible substantive benefit that this device could provide," said the minister.

Martins said the panic buttons had the possibility of causing extensive delays for commuters.

"The resultant service delay to clear the train for onward service from a safety compliance perspective after a panic alarm condition would increase passenger dissatisfaction and indefinitely halt train service in [the] said rail corridor."

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-17 22:45

    Well then MAKE the coaches compliant! Is our safety so insignificant and the continuation of criminality more important? Rubbish! Where there's a will there must be a way.

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-17 23:17

      Where there's a will there must be a relative :) Flippancy aside, what else did we expect? I've never seen a bunch of "leaders" so incapable of dealing with root causes. It's pathological

  • lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-18 00:18

    The final paragraph sums up govt's entire attitude to violence and crime: People must simply be satisfied with being terrorised because to do anything at all, would disrupt the system

  • Billy - 2012-09-18 02:03

    hmm yea hes right, they would waste a lot of money trying to make the current trains complaint for CCTV, specially with copper thieves and vandals etc etc. and the panic button too, idiots on the train will think its funny. especially in south africa. entire new couches need to be aquired. these things are needed, another solution is required.

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-18 02:26

      Have you noted how 'Western Solutions' are never applicable unless it is about cars, housing and income? Not only is Western rail and bus a gazillion times better than we'll ever have, but they have had devices such as cameras and panic buttons for almost 15 years. The knock-on effect of this is that most western politicians (such as City Managers, Mayors, MECs and even lowly Parliamentarians) use their public transport system and don't have R1m+ vehicles, drivers or blue lights. The only time we ever see any politician taking a taxi is as a publicity stunt

      Billy - 2012-09-18 03:58

      yea you're right, they do tend to blow off workable ideas as "western solutions", anything western is tied to white, which is tied to apartheid, by the anc. in this instance they need entire new carriages. if the cameras are safe and working they will record the mullet causing a fals alarm with the panic button, then they can be fined R10000 or 3 months in jail or what ever.

  • dan.ledwaba.5 - 2012-09-18 03:14

    I wonder if they will use the train without those safety features...nah, they can't even go shopping without the bodyguard. I wonder if they will put their children in public school...nah, quality of education is too low. I wonder if they will go to our public hospitals...nah, they don't trust the service provided there. Welcome the the Kingdom of South Africa, where you have kings, queens, lords, dukes and sirs...and then you have us, the peasants.

  • grantdean10 - 2012-09-18 05:26

    Sounds liek a viable reason.... To pave the way for yet another new consignment of trains to be used as graffiti walls and the likes!!!

  • nolan.v.vuuren - 2012-09-18 05:52

    These politicians are always weighing up the economics...iT'S FREAKING SICKENIG, WHILE THEY LINE THEIR POCKETS WITH OUR MONEY...

  • braamc - 2012-09-18 05:58

    Couldn't think of a cadre tenderpreneur then?

  • juannepierre - 2012-09-18 06:37

    Commuting good... Safety bad.

  • hennie.deruyter - 2012-09-18 07:06

    Considering that I stay 20 minutes walking distance from a Metrorail station and work close to another one on the same route I would love to use this 'service'. Trouble is, trains are now mostly 3rd class only, with plastic windowd one cannot see through and often very late. 2 weeks ago I waited 90 minutes for a train (not having used it for 10 years I was curious to see whether Metrorail was still worth it). So I use the car every day, and those without cars use taxis. That train, when it finally came was rather empty. I wish that Metrorail could replace its 50 year old trains with faster, more reliable ones, that they run the trains more regularly and have Gautrain-like security. The demand is there, especially now that Gautrain make is possible to travel all the way from the West to Sandton by rail. But until the service improve dramatically Metrorail will never relive the popularity it had in the 80's when I started working.

  • stephen.king.900 - 2012-09-18 07:09

    He is right. They will be stolen just like most other things of value on the trains. The old trains had stainless steal toilets they now only have a hole in the floor where the toilet pan used to be. The new trains dont have any toilets.

  • maxndaba - 2012-09-18 08:11"The evaluation found the installation of panic buttons was POSSIBLE, but not practical."?

  • john.windvogel - 2012-09-18 08:30

    I understand and agree fully with Ben Martins. Cameras and cables would be stolen and panic buttons abused. He is however not making any effort to improve the safety and reliability of our trains. Why not employ security guards to be on carriages at all times, increasing the safety of the passengers, reducing vandalism and creating jobs. Also, having more trains running more frequently during peak hours wouldnt hurt

  • joanita.hilton - 2012-10-12 09:39

    If we went back to civilized rules and regulations, we would not need CCTV or any other devices, other than mechanical on any trains... CCTV is for monitoring the vandalism (to do what with I don't know, as nothing will happen to the sods). CURE the CORE issue, which is our lawless society we live in! People become civilized when old school laws apply. e.g. All actions have consequences

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