Monday, 22 June 2015

In-Taxi-Camera...Good or Bad?


According to a recent blog post (Link) , the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has just announced that taxi drivers can now install in-taxi camera so as to deter potential troublemakers of both drivers and passengers. I'm not sure where they got the news from nor whether it's a confirmed fact.

Nonetheless, if it's true, to me, as a taxi driver, it's the best news of the day. I always believe that deterrence is the best form of prevention.

I think you have not forgotten how a cab driver was killed  by a Ferrari driven by a Chinese national, who beat a traffic light at high speed,

......how another cab driver was slashed in an unprovoked attack in the early morning hours somewhere in Jurong,

........And another cab driver beaten unconscious by Korean male passenger who complained about his "lousy" taxi. All these incidents happened three years back.

Lately, there were at least 4 cases of drunkard passengers beating taxi drivers up after refusing to pay their fares.

In one of these latest assault case, a NUS assistant law professor Sundram Peter Soosay, was convicted for assaulting a 70-year-old cabby, Sun Chun Hua. He has been sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and ordered to compensate the victim $1,500.

There are many nasty taxi related incidents and assaults of taxi drivers that goes unreported in the main media. But in this facebook page "Stop Assaulting Our Taxi Drivers", you'll be horrified to read the many more horrendous stories of taxi driver assaults.

Those reported incidents might give the impression that cab driving is a hazardous job in Singapore.  I don't think so.

Why? Because at anytime, there are at least 15,000 taxi drivers on the road plying 200,000 passengers.

Most passengers are normal, decent and law abiding human begins. Only a few are douche bags. When faced with a potentially difficult and aggressive passenger, I humbly retreat and let them be the winner of the moment. The rest I leave it to fate to decide my destiny.

Having said that, I think any "measures" from the "G" to enhance the safety of both drivers and passengers or protect cabbies from attacks by aggressive passengers is a welcome gift, like this lifting the ban on in-taxi camera.

Previously, the LTA banned the in-taxi camera recordings citing the intrusion of privacy as a major concern. In Singapore, how much privacy do we have, anyway?. CCTV is omnipresent in many public places like shopping malls, bus stops, banks, schools, hospitals and also inside public transports like buses and MRT trains. Even unregulated private drones with telescopic lens are flying freely in housing estates.

Like it or not, "Big Brother is perpetually looking over our shoulders EVERYWHERE. So, where got privacy! ". 

Many households have CCTV at their front door too. Whether these household CCTV cameras are real or fake, most burglars would avoid such households that have one displayed. It, therefore, acts as a deterrent. So, the same principle of deterrent effect can be applied inside a taxi with a real or fake camera. Even a bold red sticker reading "CCTV On Board" might deter prospective criminals or aggressors of taxi drivers.           

If a real CCTV miniature camera is installed at an inconspicuous spot inside the taxi, the images or audio recording captured can be relayed through the GPS system to the taxi operator control center but not taxi driver who might use it for nefarious purposes. The facial images stored would certainly helps the police in any criminal investigations or provides audio evidence in case of driver/passenger disputes.

To allay commuters fear of invasion of privacy, only taxi company or the authorities can have access to the password-protected camera recordings. This visceral fear of taxi drivers is not surprising. Like elsewhere in the world, most Singaporean are wary of and don't trust lowly taxi drivers who scavenge for a living.

Now, regarding the in-taxi camera, the big question is whether taxi operator is willing to needlessly spend million of dollars to protect taxi drivers. Frankly, they are more concern of their bottom line than anything else. As long as rental is collected, they do not care how the drivers survive or care about their safety.

Everyone knows that airbags had saved thousands of lives since their introduction in early 1980s. To cut cost and maximize profit, the most despicable thing some taxi companies had done was instructing their taxi manufacturers to dispense with and remove the airbags of all their taxis before they landed in Singapore.

Cabby Cheng Teck Hock, 52 of the fatal Ferrari  accident might be alive today if COMFORT had not detached the airbag of his Sonata taxi. Is LTA aware of the evil and unscrupulous removal of taxis airbags or are they closing an eye while bedding GLC partners?.

Toyota Wish taxis of Transcab and Prime Taxi has airbags but not COMFORT taxis. What about SMRT and Premier?. In case you are inside a COMFORT taxi, try to avoid being a front seat passenger and if you are a COMFORT taxi driver, GOD BLESS YOU!.

COMFORT has installed in-vehicle camera facing the road solely to protect their interest in case of a traffic accident cum insurance claim and certainly not for the safety of their drivers. If cost overrides the safety of their drivers, perhaps COMFORT could be persuaded to spend just a few hundred dollars on cheap "CCTV On Board" stickers instead of a real camera for the sake of their drivers.
Take my money. Don't kill me!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love your articles, cause during the Ferrari accident case, many people highlighted about the airbag problem which might have save that poor taxi driver who died at Victoria Street if airbags were installed in the Hyundai Sonata taxis. But all relevant authorities had turned a deaf ear to this case knowing that it will definitely concerned the profits of the taxi operators! Really very upset, to roll in more profits for the taxi operators but may just have killed more taxi drivers!

Even when Comfort had installed the camera facing the road, its all cheap cameras probably bought in bulks which breakdown every now and then. When approached the workshop, they said no stock for the new camera or camera cable. U r right, also maybe they just installed the cameras as a deterrent effect to tell the other accident parties not to claim insurances with just telling tales.

Admin said...

nice blog, thanks info.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, please continue to write!

Drew said...

I think it could definitely be a good thing. Great post, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi there!

Have you heard? Planetshakers is coming to Singapore for a 1 night only concert on the 31st of July! Limited $28 & $58 tickets are available through all Sistic channels! What are you waiting for? Go get them! We hope to see you there!

Unknown said...

Cameras are necessary in taxi and on the main points of road. It will be helpful for police. Our company airport taxi detroit
have already installed cameras in taxis.

Anderson James said...

This is good article about Taxi hiring and some good looking images of taxi also attached this post. Link to get JFK airport shuttle. I hope this one helpful for the people.

Evergreen Rent A Car said...

It is nice to see an article dedicated to this important topic. Thank you for sharing.
Car Rental Singapore

Unknown said...

Cameras are useful in taxi and on the road. Our company Detroit airport taxi is a big name in Michigan and surrounding areas.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information, exactly what most of people would love to read about . Thanks again.
best Luton removals

Limousine Service said...

Limo service in port washington ny
Our fleet is now a collection of sedan,SUV and party limo bus.for booking visit our web page or ping at 5164843200.
www.roslynlimo.com

Unknown said...

Awesome post, Thanks for sharing useful information.

Limousine Singapore

F1 Auto Leasing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
F1 Auto Leasing said...

Thanks for sharing this information, exactly what most of people would love to read about, because of this article is about Taxi hiring and some good looking images of taxi also attached these post

Osin Robots said...

HighMark Security is a direct supplier of security cameras, video surveillance systems, and CCTV equipment. We supply analog CCTV cameras, HD security cameras, IP cameras, and complete video surveillance systems worldwide. We supply our equipment to homeowners, business owners, government agencies, and any other type of organization, any size. Most of our business comes from the Da Nang, however, we do ship our products everywhere in the world. No project is too small or too large for us to handle. We have trained sales engineers that can help design a system that will fit your requirements and budget. Mua may dinh vi, CCTV Camera, IP Camera Lap Camera Da Nang, Security Systems, Analog Camera, Smart Home Store, Omnipolis, DVR, NVR, Video Management Software, camera ip wifi da nang, read more: lap dat camera da nang. HighMark Security has earned a reputation with the best technical support and customer service in the Da Nang security camera industry, lap camera da nang, sua chua camera da nang dich vu camera da nang

Tempo Traveller Rental Company- Tempotravellerinncr.in said...

Good Blog with good Pictures, i really like it.We provides
Tempo traveller rental services in bangalore
Minibus rental hire in bangalore
Innova rental services bangalore
Tempo traveller rental company bangalore
Bus rental for outstation bangalore
Mini bus hire in bangalore
Innova cab rental bangalore
Travel agents in bangalore
Taxi services in bangalore
Tempo traveller hire bangalore
for easy travel

Neha SEO said...

Good Blog with good Pictures, i really like it.We provides
Tempo traveller in gurgaon
Tempo traveller in delhi
Tempo traveller in noida
Tempo traveller in faridabad
Tempo traveller in ghaziabad
Tempo traveller in ballabgarh
Tempo traveller on rent
Tempo traveller hire
Tempo traveller
Tempo traveller for outstation
Tempo traveller in bangalore
Tempo traveller in gurgaon
Tempo traveller in faridabad
innova taxi rental faridabad


for easy travel call us +91-9560075009

Frappier Delphine said...

The way you explained is awesome. Glad to read. You always share wonderful content.
Birmingham park and ride
Luton park and ride