49 U.S.C. § 20168 - Installation of audio and image recording devices

Cite as:49 U.S.C. § 20168
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-65 (10/09/2019)

(a) IN GENERAL.-Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, the Secretary of Transportation shall promulgate regulations to require each railroad carrier that provides regularly scheduled intercity rail passenger or commuter rail passenger transportation to the public to install inward- and outward-facing image recording devices in all controlling locomotive cabs and cab car operating compartments in such passenger trains.

(b) DEVICE STANDARDS.-Each inward- and outward-facing image recording device shall-

(1) have a minimum 12-hour continuous recording capability;

(2) have crash and fire protections for any in-cab image recordings that are stored only within a controlling locomotive cab or cab car operating compartment; and

(3) have recordings accessible for review during an accident or incident investigation.

(c) REVIEW.-The Secretary shall establish a process to review and approve or disapprove an inward- or outward-facing image recording device for compliance with the standards described in subsection (b).

(d) USES.-A railroad carrier subject to the requirements of subsection (a) that has installed an inward- or outward-facing image recording device approved under subsection (c) may use recordings from that inward- or outward-facing image recording device for the following purposes:

(1) Verifying that train crew actions are in accordance with applicable safety laws and the railroad carrier's operating rules and procedures, including a system-wide program for such verification.

(2) Assisting in an investigation into the causation of a reportable accident or incident.

(3) Documenting a criminal act or monitoring unauthorized occupancy of the controlling locomotive cab or car operating compartment.

(4) Other purposes that the Secretary considers appropriate.


(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary may-

(A) require in-cab audio recording devices for the purposes described in subsection (d); and

(B) define in appropriate technical detail the essential features of the devices required under subparagraph (A).

(2) EXEMPTIONS.-The Secretary may exempt any railroad carrier subject to the requirements of subsection (a) or any part of the carrier's operations from the requirements under subsection (a) if the Secretary determines that the carrier has implemented an alternative technology or practice that provides an equivalent or greater safety benefit or that is better suited to the risks of the operation.

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