Vision Techniques

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

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

Taxi drivers who use the new ‘Taxi-Cams’ system when making pick-ups will not only ensure their own safety, but should help to deter passengers from misconduct. The system is also very effective during the hours of darkness with its own low light technology.

The new technology deters anti-social behaviour by reminding passengers that their conduct whilst travelling in taxis is being recorded and will be used as evidence against them if they commit any crimes.

In addition to an internal camera fitted in the passenger compartment, the Taxi-Cam has a discreet forward-facing windscreen mounted recording camera to provide evidence in the event of a collision.

Andrew Kendal, of Vision Techniques, said: “Taxi driving these days can be a risky business. Many taxi drivers suffer verbal or even racial abuse from some passengers. Some even run away without paying their fares”.

“Local taxi drivers provide customers with a valuable service”.

“We hope that our new recording 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 persistent offenders.”

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

The compact ‘cigarette packet sized’ windscreen mounted unit 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.

It also records from a low light second mini camera, which can be fitted looking forward from inside the vehicle, to capture images and audio from the passenger compartment, using the wide-angle lens.

In addition, there is an inbuilt interface facility to Google Maps and GPS systems that plots the vehicles location and speed on a map. This informs the camera of its exact location and heading.

Drivers can activate the camera by pushing a button on the dashboard to “event save” images as they happen – by pressing a button on the side of the front camera.

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.

Andrew said: “Honest, hard-working people should not have their safety and livelihood compromised and any initiative which prevents such incidents from happening has to be worthwhile.

“Taxi companies and councils should consider adopting this technology. It is one way we can help to make Britain a safer place – at a now very affordable price.”