NATION

Big Push From Taxi Group To Have Cameras Installed In Taxis

“Step-taxi”, a local slang for running away without paying the taxi fare is getting out of hand, especially in the Central Division,” Mr Lal said.
11 Sep 2020 09:58
Big Push From Taxi Group To Have Cameras Installed In Taxis
The Fiji Taxi Association plans to seek approval from the Ministry of Transport on installing cameras in taxis. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fiji Taxi Association (FTA) executives plan to meet the Minister for Transport, Faiyaz Koya, next week, to seek authorisation to have cameras installed in all taxis in the country.

Association general secretary Ashwin Lal said this move stemmed from concerns raised by taxi drivers about passengers running away and not paying fares when they reach their destinations.

“Step-taxi”, a local slang for running away without paying the taxi fare is getting out of hand, especially in the Central Division,” Mr Lal said.

“We are requesting to have a camera installed in all taxis.”

In some countries around the world, cameras are installed in taxis.

For example, last year in Dubai, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) fitted the entire Dubai Taxi fleet with surveillance cameras to monitor the driver’s ethical and professional behaviour.

In the United Kingdom, councils across the UK had installed cameras in licensed taxis as a way to combat crime, and to protect drivers and vulnerable passengers.

In China, according to Radio Free Asia, cameras were installed in taxis across the country’s major cities, aimed at guaranteeing the safety of drivers.

Mr Lal has spoken to the owners of Roopesh Gift Shop Office in Suva for their assistance to supply the cameras.

“Once this agenda gets approved by the ministry, we will encourage all taxi operators to install cameras inside their taxis. This will help them identify passengers who do not pay fares so the matter can be reported to the Police,” he said.

“Taxi business is not thriving during this pandemic. It has been difficult for taxi drivers to generate daily income, and then having passengers fleeing without paying makes things worse.”

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said any person hiring a taxi should pay for the service.

Not paying your fare to the taxi drivers is a criminal offence.

She said taxi drivers should report anyone fleeing before paying for the service they provide at the nearest Police Station.

The ministry has yet to comment on the matter.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

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