Federal agencies Bus/limo/taxi Trucking

NTSB looks to improve onboard video systems


Washington – The National Transportation Safety Board recently issued a safety alert with recommendations for improving onboard video systems in commercial motor vehicles.

Onboard video systems are used by investigators to determine the probable cause of crashes and can help prevent future incidents, according to NTSB. However, the systems have limitations if not installed and maintained correctly. Some onboard videos run continuously, while others start to run when triggered by a specific event.

NTSB offered its guidance after reviewing issues associated with the use of onboard videos in two recent crashes. In the first instance, “poorly oriented interior cameras and a lack of low-light recording capability” limited the investigation of an October 2011 truck crash in Kearney, NE. In the second incident, school bus cameras failed to show an occupant who was killed in a collision with a semitrailer in March 2012 in Port St. Lucie, FL.

In response to those crashes, NTSB issued the following recommendations for onboard video systems:

  • Show the driver.
  • Show each occupant seating location.
  • Show in front of the vehicle.
  • Provide optimized frame rate.
  • Include capability for low-light recording, or night vision.