Watch your step: Have an ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’ moment on the T, and everyone’s likely to see

Meera Thakrar, who fell onto Red Line tracks in August, while carrying her son: "I wasn't upset that they released the video of me falling with my son. Personally, I was scared to watch it, but it doesn't really bother me that its out there."

A woman was pulled off the tracks at Andrew Station last Tuesday after taking a terrifying tumble into the pit, and like much of the activity that happens in the MBTA, it was caught on camera.

It is not uncommon for the MBTA’s You Tube account to offer surveillance videos of unusual incidents – like a man jogging shirtless on T tracks, or customers stumbling off the platforms, giving a few unfortunate riders a solid 15 minutes of shame.

MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo told Metro that transit officials started releasing surveillance videos of incidents on the T after cameras were installed throughout the subway.

When asked why, he said that local media outlets make a request for video after an incident is reported, however he said he is not aware of the transit agency getting any complaints from people caught on camera.

But when stepping into the virtual arena in which the videos are released – the internet – it is plain to see that some question whether the videos infringe on people’s privacy.

An ACLU blog slammed the T for releasing a video of a woman attempting to ride a wheelchair up an escalator at Broadway Station in July, saying in a blog post: “I don’t know about you, but if I tripped and fell down the escalator, I really wouldn’t want the state to release the footage to the press. What were you thinking, MBTA?”

But viewers seemed to eat up that incident – it had 683,086 views on You Tube as of yesterday, not to mention a barrage of comments poking fun at the 56-year-old South Boston woman.

Kade Crockford, a representative from the ACLU, told Metro yesterday that the MBTA “clearly exercised poor judgment when it publicly posted a video of someone having a possibly life threatening but unquestionably embarrassing accident.”

“I think most T riders would not want their real world traumas to be used as MBTA publicity stunts. The incident should serve as a warning to remind us all that the people who wield the power to watch us as we go about our ordinary lives are capable of exceedingly bad judgment,” Crockford said. “That is just one reason among many that we need to have serious independent oversight of all government surveillance programs, if we want to have them at all.”

When asked whether releasing videos of people falling and being pulled from tracks may help riders be more aware of their safety while in the T, Pesaturo said: “Such incidents are few and far between. Millions of people travel throughout the subway regularly without any incidents whatsoever.”

Perhaps one of the most famous T-released videos also serves as a cautionary tale for people who opt to take public transportation after a night of drinking. In November 2009, a 26-year-old Boston woman made headlines after surveillance video showed her drunkenly stumbling around and falling onto Orange Line tracks moments before a train pulled into the station.

Meera Thakrar, who in August fell onto the tracks at Kendall Station while carrying her young son, told Metro yesterday that she was not angry the T released the video of her tumble, however she said the T should work on keeping customers off the tracks since there “seems to be a trend (of falling) on the Red Line.”

“I wasn’t upset that they released the video of me falling with my son,” Thakrar said. “Personally, I was scared to watch it, but it doesn’t really bother me that its out there. I do think that overall (the MBTA) has to work on it,  because I don’t know why, but I see on the news all these people falling on the tracks.”

In July transit officials told Metro that over the next two to three years, the MBTA will install a “significant” amount of surveillance cameras throughout the system to help them fight crime, and solve fire and accident investigations.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.