NTSB to Metro-North: Install cameras, signs

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is urging the New York Metro-North commuter railway to install audio and video recorders and speed limit signs after a series of deadly accidents on the train system last year.

The recommendations follow an accident involving a Metro-North train in November 2013 that was found to be traveling 82 miles per hour in an area of track that had a speed limit of 30 miles per hour.  

A pair of Metro-North trains also collided in Connecticut last May, a freight train derailed last July in the same area of the track as the November crash and a Metro-North employee was killed in a maintenance accident earlier in 2013.

NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said cameras inside and outside of trains would make her agency’s investigations of accidents like the Metro-North incidents easier.

"The images and audio captured by recorders can be invaluable to our investigators," Hersman said in a statement. "Understanding what is happening inside the cab just prior to a crash can provide crucial information about how to prevent future accidents."

The NTSB does not have the power to compel transportation agencies to make the changes its recommends.

The agency said it has recommended that the Federal Railroad Administration require railways to install cameras since 2007.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that he hoped the NTSB’s recommendations would spur the Metro-North to act on its own.

“New @NTSB recs should spur @USDOTFRA to move quickly, making cameras & speed limits mandatory & prompt #MetroNorth to install them ASAP,” Schumer tweeted