Orlando is in the process of spending $200,000 to install video cameras in 75 city garbage trucks in an effort to reduce accidents and insurance costs. These cameras have been operating on the trucks for free since January, and city officials believe they are already making a difference.
The cameras, mounted on the dashboard of the trucks, will sense any sudden movements and record the event for 12 seconds.
Garbage trucks spend at least ten hours each day driving throughout the city, placing them at the highest risk for accidents. Already the city has claimed success with these cameras during a lawsuit which involved a car and a garbage truck. The driver of the car filed a suit against the city for a very large sum. However, the video camera recorded the incident, showing that she ran through a red light and was the one who caused the car accident. The case was dismissed, saving the taxpayers a lot of money.
At a cost of $2,667 each, many taxpayers are leery about this expense, especially when budget cuts across the board has curtailed many services throughout the city. City officials, however state that these cameras will effectively save money for the taxpayers.
Officials state that the cameras, which are already installed, have caused drivers to become more cautious. Just knowing that their actions are being recorded, drivers have begun to act more cautiously, and reported incidents have dropped from 50 a week to 20 or less. In addition, it was stated that the insurance costs associated with the garbage trucks will drop due to this new safety feature.
Orange County already has the same video camera systems installed in their cars. They have stated that these cameras have increased safety and cut insurance and other costs related to their vehicles by 77 percent. Recordings on these cameras have also improved the safety records of the drivers of these county vehicles.
The final approval for these safety cameras has not been given by the Orlando City Council at this time. However, it is expected that they will vote on the measure during their next session.