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Cutting-edge ‘Taxi-cams’ keep taxi drivers safe from thugs

Posted on 8th Mar, 2011 by Jonathan Peach

Vehicle safety specialist, Vision Techniques, has launched a range of CCTV camera systems designed specifically for taxis and municipal vehicles.

Taxi drivers who use the ‘taxi-cam’ system to make late night pick-ups will not ensure their own safety, but will deter passengers from misconduct.

The new technology stops crime by reminding passengers they are being recorded and, if they are violent, it will be used in evidence against them.

In addition to an internal camera, Taxi-Cam has a discreet forward-facing external camera to provide evidence against false insurance claims.

Andrew Kendal, of Vision Techniques, said: “Taxi driving can be dangerous. Many taxi drivers suffer verbal abuse by drunken passengers. Or they run away without paying

“Local taxi drivers provide customers with a much needed service.

“We hope that mobile CCTV systems will make individuals think twice about their behaviour, but it will also provide valuable evidence to gain successful prosecutions against those who are abusive or violent.”

Similar to the company’s highly successful product, X-Driven, the digital video recorder offers continuous downloadable footage and provides evidence for insurance purposes.

Each compact ‘cigarette sized’ camera records real time images and audio. The wide angle, 1.3 pixel variable resolution “CMOS” digital camera downloads adaptable resolution imagery of the road and conditions ahead.

There is also an inbuilt interface facility to Google Maps and GPS systems that informs the camera of its exact location and heading.

Drivers can activate the camera by pushing a button on the dashboard.

In the past, schemes to fit mobile CCTV in taxis has led to dramatic reduction in abuse and attacks against drivers – with cities such as Sheffield now seeing an average of one incident for every 100 fares, compared to one in seven before the scheme started.

Some passengers say they feel safer in a taxi which has cameras fitted.

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