Pedestrian safety: cameras in lieu of mirrors?

News 8 February, 2018
  • Zechariah Goudreault/ 24 Hours
    The Société de transport de Montréal has decided in the last few years to raise a few inches the rear-view mirror right out of its new hybrid buses in order to reduce the risk that injures a pedestrian.

    Zechariah Goudreault

    Thursday, February 8, 2018 21:53

    Thursday, February 8, 2018 21:56

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    The Société de transport de Montréal look seriously at the possibility of equipping its bus exterior cameras to replace the mirrors.

    “There is legislation, of course, with which we must work because at Geneva they were able to pass a law that allows the camera as a mirror, which is not yet the case for us, but yes we are working on this issue”, said on Wednesday evening the executive director of the bus network of the STM, Renée Amilcar, at a public meeting of the board of directors of the company.

    Geneva, 12 buses were equipped with cameras in lieu of mirrors in the framework of an experiment, that would not make current canadian legislation. Therefore, it is an avenue explored in the long term by the company.

    One of the motivations of the STM is to reduce the risk that a pedestrian will be hit by a rear view mirror while waiting for the bus. Already, the exterior mirrors, the rights of 151 hybrid buses, with a fleet of over 1800 vehicles, have been enhanced to 10 cm in the last few years.

    “On our buses, in effect, the rear-view mirror on the right side was far too low, given also that people are more and more large […] This is not alarmist in terms of the amount of the [people injured], but a person, that is one person too many,” said Ms. Amilcar.

    Situations where pedestrians “are hung by a rear-view mirror of the bus are extremely rare”, however, specified the adviser in the public affairs of the STM, Philippe Déry. A single such event would have occurred in the last year.


    “It happens to me quite often to have the impression to move within a whisker of being struck by a rear-view mirror. It could cause serious injury,” said Jean-Jacques Lussier, a retired psychologist who sent a letter last August to the STM to claim among other things that signs urging pedestrians to be cautious to be installed at bus stops.

    According to Philippe Cousineau Morin, member of the board of directors of Pedestrians Quebec, the chances of such an incident occurring are very real. “I think that the grievance is legitimate. The bus host thousands of people per day, so there is a risk. There’s a way to accommodate better vehicles for the users, who are also pedestrians,” he stressed.