Auditing inward/outward facing camera footage

Post date: May 23, 2017 8:20:05 AM

Brothers and Sisters,

Today, BNSF advised us that they intend to begin auditing inward/outward facing camera footage beginning May 29, 2017. Both BLET and SMART-TD are on record as opposing the use of these cameras for operational testing. We believe this is a very bad idea.

We are told the auditing will be both random and event-driven (i.e. derailment, emergency app, heavy reduction, etc…). The Remote Audit group will be examining the data just as they do now with Event Recorder data. There are currently 200 locomotives equipped with the IFCs and another 280 or so to be installed this year. While outward facing cameras do record audio, IFCs are not currently configured or equipped for audio recording.

BNSF believes there are still significant violations occurring with cell phones and personal electronic devices. Any violation caught on video will be dealt with through the Discipline agreement and PEPA policy. It is my sincere hope that our members prove them dead wrong.

With regard to biological breaks, BNSF has stated that we should continue to handle as we currently do. Engineers and conductors know when they are able to safely leave the controls for a short period of time. If stopping is necessary…then stop.

Please advise your members that any attempt to block the camera will be met with disciplinary action. The cameras are equipped with sensors which recognize a blockage and will send a message to BNSF requesting the data be downloaded.

Your members should be notified by BNSF of their intent to begin this program by next week.


Alan Holdcraft

General Chairman


817-426-9003 (Ext. 101) Office

877-546-3660 Fax