In Edinburgh the latest plans to protect taxi drivers for aggressive passengers are said to include putting CCTV cameras in the vehicles.
The Edinburgh Licensed Taxi Partnership (ELTP) thinks that by adding cameras into the cabs it will cut down on all types of incidents that range from arguments over fares to verbal or even physical abuse.
The plans are going to be put forward later on this year to the council’s regulatory committee and if it is approved, drivers will be given the option of having the cameras installed or not.
The plans are to have 3 cameras installed in the cabs, with one in the front with the driver and two in the back with the passengers. It would cost the drivers £400 to have all three installed.
Drivers experience problematic passengers every week and the chair of ELTP, Les McVay believes many situations could be avoided or defused if the passenger knows they are being recorded.
Mr McVay, a 57 year old taxi driver who has worked for 32 years in Edinburgh says, “I have done nights for 30-odd years and I have had cracked ribs and a broken wrist. You go into all these areas without a thought.
“CCTV would help to protect the driver and the public. It would defuse a lot of hotspot situations – if somebody knows they are going to be recorded, they might think twice about taking the incident further.
“We are not trying to force this on anybody; it would just be an option for licence holders.”
Among the plans is information about who would be able to view the footage. The drivers themselves wouldn’t be able to watch it but the information would be passed onto a third party, possibly the police. The recordings would also have to be deleted too, possibly within 30 days.
Councillor Rob Munn, the convener of the regulatory committee says, “The safety of passengers and drivers is of paramount importance, so the committee will carefully consider any proposal aimed at promoting this.”
Sometimes taxi insurance isn’t enough to ensure your safety so the CCTV cameras will provide this extra level of security.