Atlanta council puts brakes on plan to install cameras in city vehicles

A plan to install 175 cameras in city-owned vehicles has been delayed after members of the Atlanta City Council voted to send it back to committee for further study.

At Monday’s council meeting, Councilwoman Felicia Moore, who chairs the city’s finance executive committee, peppered members of the staff about the increasingly controversial program that would allow the city to activate DriveCams, which are designed to record up to 12 seconds of any major change in the car’s speed or direction.

City workers, several of whom spoke at Monday’s meeting, worry that the cameras would be used to spy on them.

CFO Jim Beard said the cameras would not be used as a surveillance tool, but rather as a way to better document accidents and coach workers into better driving habits. While the camera would record 12 seconds of sudden changes to a car, it does not constantly record.

Although the plan has not been approved by the council yet, private company has already installed the cameras, which has also concerned some councilmembers.