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Satellite to track Scots bus drivers

Posted by: Martin Boffey

Date: 11-May-2011 21:37:00

11 May 2011 - source: Daily Record

A SPY in the sky will watch more than 100 drivers with one of Scotland's biggest bus firms.

Strathclyde Partnership in Transport will spend £85,000 on the Crystal Ball driver-tracking satellite system.

It will show bosses at SPT exactly where their drivers are, which bus they are driving and at what speed.

Civil liberties groups have branded the pilot scheme Big Brother-style snooping.

But SPT, who carry around 50,000 pupils a day on the "biggest school run in Scotland", claim the system will improve safety.

Each driver will have a coded identification key which slots into a dashboard reader in the bus.

An SPT spokeswoman said: "By purchasing this new equipment, we will be able to monitor our fleet of vehicles more efficiently."

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents yesterday backed the move. Spokesman Kevin Clinton said: "Providing it is used in a constructive manner, rather than a disciplinary process, it can provide great benefits."

But Daniel Hamilton, director of Big Brother Watch, hit out: "It's a fairly sad indictment on what the bus company thinks of its own employees that it feels the need to track their every movement."

And Charles Farrier, of campaign group No CCTV, said: "We are human beings, not robots. Technology should be there to help us and not enslave us."

Written by Martin Boffey