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Statement by the TSB regarding locomotive voice and video recorders

Gatineau, Quebec, 16 May 2017 — Today, the Minister of Transport has introduced a Bill in the House of Commons proposing some amendments to the Railway Safety Act (RSA) and the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act (CTAISB Act). One key provision of this new legislation pertains to locomotive voice and video recorders (LVVRs).

The proposed amendments to the RSA call for the mandatory installation of LVVRs in locomotives, specify the type of uses that can be made of the recordings and provide authority for TC to make regulations governing LVVRs. This addresses a key safety issue that has been on the TSB Watchlist since 2012, as well as two long-standing TSB recommendations. TSB Chair Kathy Fox said, "The Board is pleased that the Minister of Transport is finally moving forward with the implementation of LVVRs. This new tool will provide essential information to TSB investigators about crew member activities and interactions leading up to and during an occurrence."

The proposed amendment to the CTAISB Act will remove the current legislative barrier that precludes anyone but the TSB from using on-board voice and video recordings and pave the way for the use of these recordings for proactive safety management purposes as specifically permitted by the RSA. On-board recordings will however continue to be privileged under the CTAISB Act in order to protect worker privacy. "Expanding the use of voice and video recordings beyond TSB investigations could help prevent accidents in the future. This will provide railways with the means to get a better understanding of operational and human factors within the locomotive cab and enable them to improve operating practices and employee training," said Fox.

In the coming months, the TSB will collaborate with Transport Canada and key rail stakeholders to further clarify the rules and protocols required for the implementation of LVVRs.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-360-4376