01/22/2015 12:49 EST | Updated 03/24/2015 05:59 EDT

TTC wants technology to boost bus safety

The TTC is planning a host of measures to improve bus safety, including the use of forward-facing dashboard cameras and speed monitoring of its vehicles using GPS data.

The moves come on the heels of last month's death of 14-year old Amaria Diljohn, who was struck by a right-turning TTC bus in Scarborough. The moves were also prompted by instances where drivers were caught on video running red lights.

"Although we have a good safety record, incidents are occurring where we need to take action, that's exactly what we're doing," said TTC CEO Andy Byford in an interview Thursday on CBC Radio's Metro Morning. "Safety is something that we continuously stress."

The new measures are part of a 12-point Safe Service Action Plan.

The plan also includes:

- A review of how drivers are trained and recruited.

- A safety communication campaign targeted at drivers.

Bob Kinnear, who heads the transit union, says outdated route schedules are the real problem. He said drivers are often rushed to keep pace with route schedules that are years old and don't take into account today's road congestion.

Kinnear said drivers are often expected to load and unload their buses at the end of a route in a matter of minutes, often leaving no time for bathroom breaks.

"The TTC is trying to create this image that there's a systemic problem with the operators and the way that we conduct operations," said Kinnear.

One aspect of the safety plan aims to address drivers' concerns about route schedules. As a pilot project, the TTC will cover up the dashboard on-time indicator on the East Mall route to see how it affects safety and schedules.

Byford the TTC is looking at drivers' concerns about schedules.

"Safety trumps on-time running every single time," he said. "I'd rather have a bus run late that run unsafe."