2 May 2009

Govt will have to revisit taxi camera decision - Federation

8:39 am on 2 May 2009

The Taxi Federation believes the Government will eventually be forced to make security cameras mandatory in cabs, if any more drivers are attacked.

The federation, which represents 65 of the country's 187 companies, recommended making cameras compulsory after Christchurch taxi driver Abdulrahman Ikhtiari was stabbed to death in December.

However, following a review of safety measures, Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the cost of about $1,000 to purchase and install cameras in every taxi would be considerable and prohibitive in the current economic climate.

Mr Joyce says only five out of 30 independent taxi companies that were consulted supported making cameras compulsory.

The minister says taxi companies should have flexibility in the safety arrangements they make, which include the use of safety screens and alarms.

Federation executive director Tim Reddish says security cameras in cabs in Australia have been proven to have a strong deterrent effect.

He regrets the minister has not had the political courage to "bite the bullet" at this stage, he says, because if there is another killing the same issue will arise and the minister will eventually be forced to introduce mandatory cameras.