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Taxis fitted with cameras in effort to promote the safety of passengers and motorists

Taxis fitted with cameras in effort to promote the safety of passengers and motorists

Johannesburg – Taxi owners in Durban have fitted their vehicles with cameras and vehicle-disabling technology to increase passenger safety, protect their vehicles and increase their profits.

Yusuf Khaliva, the Chairperson of the South and North Beach Taxi Associations, stated that the association and taxi owners undertook to have cameras installed in their vehicles out of concern for their commuters.

The cameras face inward towards the passengers, and there is also a dash-cam that points out of the taxi showing the driver's view of the road.

Taxis fitted with cameras in effort to promote the safety of passengers and motorists
To ensure driver and passenger safety, North Beach and South Beach Taxi Association had cameras installed in 70 vehicles, it will gradually install cameras in the remaining 80 vehicles. Picture: Facebook

“Our first objective is to look after our passengers. There have been a lot of robberies that have taken place in various places in the taxis, and we being an operation that works 24 hours felt that it was important that we think of the safety of our passengers,” said Khaliva.

The move by the business owners has solicited mixed feelings from the employees of the taxi owners, but Khaliva reiterated the owners’ commitment to making the journeys of commuters safe.

“Well, of course, there will be mixed reactions because, as you know, that the drivers do their own things, but we as owners have taken it upon ourselves that regardless of what they say. We will think of the passengers first as they are our bosses,” he said.

Passengers have welcomed the innovation, with some taking to social media to voice their approval.

One Facebook user remarked, “Big ups to the Associations for putting the safety of commuters first. It is a great initiative to be welcomed and supported”.

Another commented, “Great initiative. Well done to the associations.Now let's move to cashless payments”.

To date, 70 of the 150 taxis affiliated with the South and North Beach Taxi Association have been fitted with the cameras, and the remaining 80 are expected to be fitted within the next three weeks.

Some of the features that will be at the disposal of owners include being able to monitor the speed of the vehicles, monitor routes and the ability to disable a vehicle remotely.

Owners will also be able to count the number of passengers in the vehicle.

“That will help eliminate the overloading of vehicles. Because, of course, overloading has dire consequences, so we’ll also be getting rid of overloading,” said Khaliva.

The move will also have a financial benefit for the owners. With being able to count the number of passengers and the number of loads a taxi driver makes, owners will also be able to calculate the exact money that is due to them at the end of every day.

Taxis fitted with cameras in effort to promote the safety of passengers and motorists
Owners will be able to monitor their taxi’s remotely in real time. Picture: Facebook

“The owner will, for the first time, he will have information at his disposal whereby he can view his vehicle as and when he wants to. It will also tell you how many people jump into your vehicle.”

“You know what happens is the drivers try to make their own money, and that’s what causes reckless driving because they are always rushing to make whatever is for them. They have a set target for the owner, regardless of whether it is busy or not, but at least now the owner will know how many people his vehicle loaded and what is due to him,” he said.

Khaliva hopes the initiative will also help lower the taxi owners’ insurance premiums as the risk will be lowered by better driving from drivers who know that they are always being watched.

vusi.adonis@inl.co.za

IOL Business

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