Bus drivers get camera temperature checks
BUS drivers in London are being scanned with thermal imaging cameras to detect signs of fever, a key symptom of coronavirus.
Transport for London is testing the use of temperature cameras with train and bus operators Abellio, Metroline, Arriva, Stagecoach and Go Ahead.
The cameras use infrared technology to pick up small changes in body temperature from a distance.
While not a substitute for a test, they have been used as a first-line check to see if someone has an unusually high temperature, and should then be recommended for a coronavirus test.
However, infrared screening alone is viewed as inadequate by experts at the World Health Organisation. Some people suffering from coronavirus do not display fever symptoms. Others display no symptoms at all.
Thermal cameras have still been installed in Heathrow Airport to automatically scan arrivals to detect if they have a raised temperature. They have also become common overseas, and are used at airports in Asia.
Metroline, an operator of London red buses, has begun using thermal cameras to scan drivers before work from Temp Cam, which claims to give accurate skin temperature readings to within 0.3C, scanning 20-30 people at a time. The cameras are designed to detect fever on drivers returning to work, who are checked at their depot and logged. Metroline did not comment.
Bus drivers have been among the most at-risk employees of coronavirus, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000.
The Government has brought in more rules for public transport passengers. Face masks have been compulsory on buses and trains since mid June. Commuters who ignore the rules risk a fine of £100 or being refused boarding.
Claire Mann, TfL’s director of bus operations, said: “We are trialling a range of temperature testing equipment for drivers and staff at a number of our bus garages to see if they can play a role in our commitment to protect staff and customers. We’re working with the Transport Research Laboratory, Unite the Union, and several bus operators on these trials.”