Comments: 1260 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

ApologeticCanadian269 karma

As a teenager who has taken the bus to school for five years now and has just recently noticed that the bus has cameras, what did you have for cereal this morning?

No but seriously, what is the most minor infraction you report?

salisburymistake316 karma

Not calling out intersections. Federal law requires our drivers to do this for the visually impaired. Sounds easy, but the rule is if you miss more than 1 on a trip, you get written up. People have been fired over it, and it's so easy to do!

DKaine243 karma

The busses in our area actually have GPS or some sort of landmark system where a Text to Speech generator will call out the intersections without the driver's intervention. Guess this is a good way to get around it, especially since inside the city, it would get pretty old having to call out intersections every 30 feet.

salisburymistake177 karma

We're going to have that eventually. In the meantime, our drivers are only required to call out certain major intersections, not every single one.

Justinneed220 karma

Ever see any good fights?

salisburymistake886 karma

Most the fights I've seen involve African-American female high school students, and they're pretty unreal. There's a lot of weave-pulling. You know those bars suspended from the ceiling that usually have straps on them hanging down for people to hold onto? I saw a girl jump up and grab one of those and dropkick another girl in the face. Impressive.

AlRubyx199 karma

What's the stupidest thing you've ever seen someone do on the bus?

salisburymistake538 karma

Stupidest was actually just outside the bus. A guy came running onto the bus, telling the driver, "Go, man! Get outta here! She's crazy!" Driver closes the door, and as he's getting ready to leave, this woman runs up to the bus and kicks at the door, putting her foot through the glass and cutting the hell out of her leg. She tried to sue us and lost.

AlRubyx315 karma

Wait a second... She tried to sue you because glass shards are sharp and she vandalized the bus...? Damn.

salisburymistake529 karma

Yes, apparently our doors should be more conducive to being kicked while wearing sandals.

Frajer181 karma

What's the worst thing you ever saw? Ever see anything that made you feel really good about people?

salisburymistake412 karma

The worst incident I've seen involved a woman in an electric wheelchair falling off the wheelchair lift and faceplanting on the sidewalk. The video makes you cringe, but the audio of her screaming in agony will haunt me forever. Doesn't help that it was big case with the insurance people and I had to watch it literally 100 times.

The ones that make me feel good about people are when someone finds a wallet or purse left by another passenger and promptly turns it into the driver. 95% of the time they either just steal it or they'll take the money out before turning it in, but there are those rare people who are able to empathize with a total stranger.

Zoomerlawns165 karma

Have you ever seen any sexy time?

salisburymistake330 karma

Surprisingly, no! And there is only 1 instance of masturbation that I can remember. It was a scraggly homeless guy sitting in the back of the bus who decided to pull his pants down to his ankles and have a go. When confronted by the driver, the man claimed he was merely scratching his inner thigh. The driver asked why he needed his pants down to do this, and the man answered by pulling them up and deboarding without another word.

Riv4L132 karma

Protip: Not sure about your buses but in our area girls will sit on the back seat in the middle where the engine is, if you see them sitting with peculiarly straight backs you know what is going on.

salisburymistake171 karma

Oh god. I did not know or want to know this. Now I'm going to be looking for it.

s0cia11y_awkward148 karma

do watch anything in real time or is it all recordings?

whats the most awkward thing you have seen?

and whats the grossest?

salisburymistake464 karma

I think pretty much every camera system has the capability to watch live these days, but we don't have the funding to make that a reality. Whenever something is reported, one of our mechanics will pull the hard drive from the bus and swap it out for a spare. I plug the hard drive into a docking station and can zoom around viewing stuff over about 2 weeks of time.

Most awkward thing: Guy complained that our driver was rude to him. I watch the video and discover the guy in question was essentially hitting on this 5 year old boy. Stuff like, "You're such a little cutie!" and "Your skin looks so soft!" The boy's mother wasn't doing shit about it for some reason, but our driver told the guy to "stop being creepy." Thankfully it wasn't me who had to call the guy and tell him that yes, we watched the video, and yes, we agree that you should indeed stop being creepy.

Grossest was a woman who simultaneously starting vomiting and shitting herself. Driver stops the bus immediately, every other passenger deboards in disgust. Then it's about 10 or 15 minutes before the ambulance gets there, and the driver is trying to console this woman who just keeps on puking, shitting, and crying. Actually, that may have been the most awkward...

iGotChubs4You157 karma

this woman who just keeps on puking, shitting, and crying. Actually, that may have been the most awkward...

Can you go a little further into this? What the fuck was happening to a person where they, out of nowhere, began to shit and puke uncontrollably?

salisburymistake865 karma

Dammit iGotChubsrYou, I'm a video viewer guy, not a doctor!

AidanReddit113 karma

video viewer guy

Do you have a more official name for your job?

salisburymistake194 karma

My actual job title is Video and Software Support Technician.

neko127 karma

How many people throw up per day?

salisburymistake205 karma

I'd say about once a week. It's probably higher for bigger cities.

xenokilla127 karma

  1. Have you ever/are you able to get copies of the video and leak it to youtube.

  2. What format is the footage recorded in, how big are the hard drives.

  3. Is it one big long file, or does it get broken up into chunks?

  4. I take it the footage is time stamped?

salisburymistake227 karma

  1. I can, but I won't because they could easily be traced back to me.

  2. It's a proprietary format specific to the software. It allows you to view up to 16 cameras at a time (though the most we have on any of our buses is 7) and switch between them as the video plays. The drives only have 36 GB on them, but the video is both low-resolution and compressed pretty well, so you can go back decently far on them.

  3. When I pop in a drive, I'm presented with a timeline. It's usually a green bar with bits of red in it. The bits of red indicate times when a driver pushed a button to "mark the tape." They're trained to do this for incidents, and it makes it a hell of a lot easier for me to find stuff. When I find the incident in question, I can save that specific chunk of time and put it on a disk for archival purposes.

  4. Yes, it's time stamped. Although the system we use is rather out of date, and it uses the old daylight saving time settings. So there are 2 times each year when the time on the video is 1 hour fast or slow. I ended up setting up these dates as recurring reminders in Google Calendar so I know to compensate.

VeteranKamikaze40 karma

If I could ask a follow-up question, are the drives plugged into a run of the mill computer running to all the cameras or is it very specific to being set up in a bus, and is the system you work on after you pull the drives specific to this system or again just a regular computer.

I'm also wondering do you use platter drives or solid state, if they are platter drives have you ever had issues where they get damaged from the bus bumping around and lost video as a result?

salisburymistake68 karma

It's a system specific to the bus, I believe. The docking station I use is specific to the drive and I connect to it via IP. I have to use the software to view the video - I can't view the raw contents.

I think the majority of the drives we use are platters. The casing they're in minimizes any of the routine bumps, but I have seen it skip over some of the more extreme collisions. There was one a few months ago where a girl rammed into the side of the bus at 70+ mph and the entire incident got skipped over. Some of our paratransit vehicles use solid state drives though, and they're generally more reliable. If/when we're able to upgrade, I'm recommending them for all of our vehicles.

AngryTrollface119 karma

What was the most satIsfying I got you video you reviewed?

salisburymistake320 karma

The most satisfying was actually on one of our drivers. After parking his bus outside the garage, he slipped on this little dab of oil on the ground that must have come from another bus. He was trying to file workman's comp, claiming our maintenance guys should have cleaned it up. When asked why he didn't just see the oil and go around it (it was pretty damn obvious), he said the sun was in his eyes.

He didn't realize that the camera system on his bus kept recording a good 10 minutes or so after the bus is turned off. And while we didn't have a good angle to see him actually slip on the oil, we did have him getting off the bus and walking towards where the oil was, and when we asked him, "How was the sun in your eyes when the video clearly shows your shadow in front of you, with the sun at your back?" he started blubbering like an idiot. DENIED.

raleigh1576 karma

Did he actually get injured from the fall? I thought workman's compensation was only for serious injuries?

salisburymistake184 karma

The sad thing is they'll try for workman's comp knowing that they won't get it, just so they can have 1 or 2 days off in the process of sorting it out. Never underestimate the guile of a lazy employee.

Tantrumoo113 karma

What's the biggest incident you've seen in terms of amount of people involved?

salisburymistake251 karma

Our bus wasn't involved, but the dash cam caught a senior transport van full of elderly folks running a red light and getting creamed by a school bus full of kids. I'd say around 40+ people involved.

Jakooboo109 karma

Um... How'd that one turn out?

salisburymistake117 karma

I actually have no clue. Since we weren't involved I didn't get the usual follow-up.

bgmrk109 karma

How does one end up doing this for a job?Not to often I see a job posting that's looking for someone to watch security footage.

salisburymistake234 karma

I lucked out in a big way. My mother was working at a temp agency and got sent to do the job while the company was looking for someone to fill the position permanently. She recommended me because "he's good with computers" and I ended up getting it.

lulzKat102 karma

How good is the audio? I've always imagined that you couldn't differentiate between everyone talking...Is it actually pretty detailed or shitty like I originally thought?

salisburymistake160 karma

It's pretty damn awful sometimes. The summer months are especially bad with the A/C roaring.

lulzKat62 karma

eeek, sounds rough. Most of the times do you just mute the sound then?

salisburymistake179 karma

No, I'm always afraid I might miss something.

MissesLee93 karma

What's the worst thing you've seen done from parent to child? Were you able to contact CPS because of it?

salisburymistake191 karma

Saw a man bring his fist down on the top of his 4 or 5 year old son's head when he wouldn't stop crying. Surprisingly, this did little to stop the crying. Instead the police were called and the man was arrested. CPS was contacted but I never heard what happened after that.

VVice78 karma

How much do you make a year? and how old are you roughly?

salisburymistake125 karma

I'm 30 and I make something comparable to a teacher's salary. I'm probably going to find something different if I don't get a decent raise this year.

Lolologist77 karma

Since you mentioned that you only watch videos that are specifically brought to the attention of the transit company, what percentage, roughly, are interesting/fun/funny, and what percentage are just boring?

salisburymistake239 karma

At this point, maybe 20% are interesting. The speeding complaints are the most boring, as our camera system doesn't record the vehicle's speed. I have to measure out distances in Google Earth and use the time from the video to determine the approximate speed of the bus.

chrisfs147 karma

That's actually a quite cool way of doing it. Math and science to the rescue!

salisburymistake202 karma

Thanks! I was pretty impressed with myself for coming up with it at the time.

bodomstar75 karma

what is the craziest thing you have seen happen to a driver/passenger?

salisburymistake180 karma

A large, mentally disturbed woman suddenly started attacking a 12 year old girl for no reason. I mean, just beating the shit out of her. They were the only 2 people on the bus at the time and they weren't together. Unfortunately, this happened right as the driver was going over some railroad tracks and he had to get over them before he could stop the bus and do something about it. By the time he did, the young girl was covered in blood. The woman told the police that she had attacked the girl for putting a "hoodoo curse" on her. The girl's parents tried to sue us, because they thought the driver should have stopped on the railroad tracks.

IWillHuffleYourPuff67 karma

Is it common to have a 12 year old girl on public transportation (meaning not a school bus) by herself?

salisburymistake128 karma

There are a lot of public schools around here that don't have their own school buses and so a lot of the kids will take our buses to and from school. We actually have a thing setup through the school district so parents can buy tickets or whatever for their kids from the school.

TheStatureOfLiberty73 karma

What is the weirdest thing you have seen someone doing?

salisburymistake245 karma

I haven't seen her for some time, but for awhile there was this one woman who was constantly going insane. The first incident, she was singing/screaming "Hit the Road Jack" at the top of her lungs. She was dressed very professionally and the theory was she had stopped taking her medication or something. Over the next month or 2, we kept pulling more and more videos on her, as her mind gradually deteriorated. The last time I saw her on a video, she was dressed in garbage bags, wearing a doily on her head. She tried to pay her fare in mustard packets and when the driver wouldn't accept that, she spit at them. Police took her off and I haven't seen her since.

TheAceMan59 karma

5000 incidents? Ok, I will never ride the bus again. Thanks!

salisburymistake142 karma

Keep in mind a lot of these are just to protect us. You know what I get more than anything? "I was waiting for the bus and it went right by me!" 1 out of 10 times, the caller is telling the truth. The rest of the time, they either weren't at the stop at all or came running out of their house after the bus had already gone by. Instead of accepting any kind of personal responsibility, these people will call and complain about something that is clearly 100% their fault.

PetrichorNights81 karma

We get this sometimes too. It's amazing how "the driver closed the door in my face and left early" really means "I was 80 feet behind the bus and taking my sweet time to get there so I missed the bus which departed exactly on time".

salisburymistake271 karma

It really is amazing how they exaggerate things. We had one guy complain about a driver not letting him on the bus and how it was discrimination and he would be filing a lawsuit.

Cut to the video where the driver (black female) stops for this guy (old white dude) and opens the door. First thing out of his mouth is, "About time you got here, you dumb nigger!" Driver closed the door and left. Our bad!

toughchick9059 karma

I was on a bus once and actually saw this happen. The lady was right at the stop, the bus stopped for her and when she bent down to pick up her groceries, the driver took off...

salisburymistake86 karma

Yeah, I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but the amount of people lying about it happening is just ridiculous. The ratio I gave was not an exaggeration in the slightest.

ObsidianOrangutan31 karma

How could you sue for a bus not stopping? :S

salisburymistake105 karma

Because we made them late and they lost their job. Or some other lie.

FromaLand58 karma

How far back do your videos go?

salisburymistake70 karma

Typically 1 to 2 weeks.

249ba36000029bbe974930 karma

So do you regularly offload footage and archive it? Or is it only if an incident is filed that you offload video? In other words, let's say that the police know for sure that a murder suspect boarded an specific bus at a specific time exactly 30 days ago. No other incidents happened on that bus in those 30 days. Is that footage taped over and gone forever now?

salisburymistake42 karma

Pretty much. We'll still make an attempt to pull the drive from the bus in the unlikely event that it retained footage from that long ago. Sometimes the bus in question may have been in the shop getting worked on for weeks and we get lucky. The only footage I archive is directly related to an incident though. I never just put in a drive and start dumping it to disks.

nygreenmachine54 karma

Do you enjoy your job?

salisburymistake125 karma

It's definitely the best job I've ever had. I have my own office and I get to make an actual difference in peoples' lives.

DragonRaptor47 karma

DO you ever randomly pull video's to watch, or only where an incident is reported? Have you ever helped police catch a criminal aside from the story you posted about the girl who was banned from the bus from cursing on the cell phone that you mentioned in the other post?

salisburymistake146 karma

I only watch when there's an incident to be found. We do pull 3 or so random buses each day just for me to make sure the cameras are all recording correctly. This all started when we had an incident from a bus that we hadn't pulled in months, and when I went to view it, 5 of the 7 cameras hadn't been recording for weeks.

I've helped put away a lot of people. There was one guy who got on a bus at Walmart with a big box of some kind covered with a blanket. He proceeded to steal a wallet and cellphone out of a female passenger's purse. Incidentally, the same man had been in our office not 4 hours earlier to get his "disabled ride free" pass... and I was the one who took his picture for it! So I was able to give the police a perfectly good mugshot of the guy along with his name and address and video proof that he stole stuff from this woman. They take one look at the picture and realize it's the same guy that had stolen a couple of BluRay players from Walmart that same night, walking right out the store with them hidden under a blanket.

Fidgetstic29 karma

So reviewing videos isn't your only job?

salisburymistake93 karma

It started that way, and it was only part time. They agreed to make me full time if I did some minor tech support stuff around the office. At this point I'm basically a one-man tech department.

ThatJanitor50 karma

Have you tried turning it on and off?

Receives paycheck.

no, really. your job sounds pretty cool.

salisburymistake69 karma

I won't lie... there's a lot of that.

PetrichorNights47 karma

Wow. This is part of my job as well for a nice sized college transit system. I imagine with the city you see even crazier things than I do. Accidents are fascinating to me and I usually watch the entire incident until the scene is clear just to see how everything plays out and everyone involved interacts. On the other hand, I could do without jumping through FERPA hoops every time the police want video.

Just out of curiosity, how do you retain video saved from the incidents? How long do you keep it? I think I've got around a couple hundred GB of audio/video, but I'm not at work and can't look at the moment.

salisburymistake45 karma

I usually just dump them onto a CD/DVD, depending on the size of the video. A CD can hold about 20 minutes of all 7 cameras. I also retain about 1000 or so of the most recent incidents on a 1 TB USB drive so that I can pull them up quickly if someone else needs to review them.

Sir_Narwolf41 karma

Have you ever seen anyone die on footage?

salisburymistake77 karma

Never on camera. There was one just slightly off camera of a man walking down the sidewalk being struck and killed by a FedEx truck.

There was another on one of our paratransit buses where a driver had to brake to avoid an accident and a woman wasn't strapped into her wheelchair properly. She fell forward out of her wheelchair and slammed into the farebox at the front of the bus. She died a few days later from her injuries.

ObsidianOrangutan35 karma

It seems from your post that a lot of people try to sue over very trivial things, would that be accurate? How often are they successful.

You also mentioned catching someone for child abuse, what happened there? I'd assume they didn't just hit their kid on a bus.

salisburymistake68 karma

If someone gets hurt and goes to the hospital, we'll usually be fine with covering that cost. When they try to take it further is when we fight it. Sometimes people will demand to get all sorts of scans and stuff and still insist they're injured, even though all evidence says they're not. I don't know why lawyers will actually take their cases, but sometimes they do.

With the child abuse thing, yeah, sometimes they're beating their kids on the bus. But it's usually more than that. The kids may be filthy or running all over the bus without any interest shown by the parent(s). Sometimes the parents are drunk or high on something. One woman actually tried to abandon her kid on the bus.

anonymatt43 karma

Could you provide more details about the lady who tried to abandon her child?

salisburymistake104 karma

A real class act, that one. She gets on the bus at the downtown transfer area with her 6-8 year old daughter along with a dozen or so other passengers. The woman appears out of sorts. I'm guessing alcohol, not drugs. Before the bus leaves, the woman whispers to her daughter, but I can't make it out. She then stumbles out the door, away from the bus. The driver is busy explaining the route to another passenger as this happens. As he's about to pull away, he notices this little girl alone in a seat crying her eyes out.

She tells the driver her mom told her she was on her own from then on. The driver bolts out the door, sees the woman far off but not out of sight, and starts yelling at her. It's not on the video, but the driver says the woman started running when he did this. He ends up calling for a supervisor who comes down there with the police to help the girl. I have no idea what happened after that.

PunkRockPlatypus31 karma

what do you guys do about taggers?

salisburymistake62 karma

We've never had someone tag the outside of a bus, but there have been some kids writing crap on the backs of seats before. Nothing our cleaning agents haven't been able to remove though.

MrKrazybones15 karma

What about people who use their knife to carve into the windows?

salisburymistake17 karma

I've never seen that happen. Hopefully that doesn't catch on around here.

corncorncorncorn29 karma

Wait, so do you actually clock in at work at and watch straight video for 8 or so hours?

Or do you only have to watch sections of it when there is an incident reported?

salisburymistake59 karma

I only watch when incidents are reported, though there have been days where we had so many incidents that I end up spending 10 straight hours watching footage. I do other tech related stuff around the office as well when I'm not doing the videos.

ChrisChristopherson25 karma

Are any of the cameras monitored real time? Of so, where determines which ones are monitored?

salisburymistake44 karma

We don't have that capability yet. There's a menu for it in the software I use, but our buses aren't equipped for it.

psmwrxguy18 karma

When you chose "almost anything," what were you afraid of being asked?

salisburymistake44 karma

"Can you upload video of such an such incident?"

Obviously I can't do that for professional and legal reasons.

[deleted]13 karma


salisburymistake23 karma

A new driver once missed a turn and ended up driving 10 miles outside the city before hitting a dead end road and finally calling our dispatch for assistance. He didn't last long.

pinkgreenblue12 karma

In middle school our school bus had a camera fitted inside a big black box with a one-way mirror so that camera itself couldn't be seen. It also had a red light to indicate it was recording.

Are there such things as fake cameras just to get people to behave? It was an ongoing thing where some people insisted it was real and others insisted it was fake, but in all my years I never heard of the video being reviewed by the middle school administration.

salisburymistake13 karma

I honestly couldn't tell you in regards to school buses. I can tell you that none of the cameras on our buses are fake though.

chrill8 karma

Has anyone ever made funny faces directly at the camera?

Has anyone ever waved at the camera?

Has anyone ever put gum, a sticky note, ect. over the camera?

salisburymistake26 karma

No one has ever put anything over the cameras, but several people have flipped them off. And boy, that just eats at my heart every time it happens.

imnotabus8 karma

Did you ever see two people set up a bus date?

Like a guy goes and hits on a girl and she leaves with him

salisburymistake17 karma

Sadly, about the closest I've seen to that was an incident where a mentally handicapped girl was being harassed by some guy. He was apparently saying all sorts of nasty shit to her and putting his hand on her knee, stuff like that. She got off the bus and he followed her. I think he gave up when she got to her work and that was it. But since she didn't speak up, the driver had no idea what was going on. Didn't stop her mother from coming in and screaming at us, however.