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CCTV cameras in Dubai taxis soon?

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 23, 2015 | Last updated on September 23, 2015 at 07.10 am
CCTV cameras in Dubai taxis soon?
Officials at the Public Transport Agency (PTA) of Dubai's RTA revealed that they are considering installing cameras in Dubai's taxis, as well.

Dr Yousef Al Ali, CEO, Public Transport Agency, said: "The installation of cameras will help RTA monitor the security and safety of the passengers and drivers."

Dubai taxis may soon get CCTV cameras, with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) conducting studies to launch a pilot phase.

Dr Yousef Al Ali, CEO, Public Transport Agency, said: "The installation of cameras will help RTA monitor the security and safety of the passengers and drivers."

The announcement comes on the heels of the Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars in Abu Dhabi (TransAD) announcing that they would be installing 100 CCTV cameras in their fleet of taxis by the end of this year.

Dr Al Ali said: "Cameras will also raise the efficiency of returning lost and found items."

Taxi drivers Khaleej Times spoke to said the move would be beneficial for them.

Zahid Khan, a taxi driver with the Dubai Taxi Cooperation, said: "Sometimes we get fined when people complain about taxi drivers driving away when hailed. Even when there is a customer in the car, people want us to stop."

With the cameras, Khan said, the drivers will have evidence against the complaints.

Jehangir Qureishi, another cabbie, said some passengers complain about speeding even when they are driving under the speed limit.

"Passengers complain about speeding often, even when we drive under 100km/hr. With the cameras, we can defend our case."

Residents' thumbs up for cameras

According to a poll on khaleejtimes.com and KT's social media channels conducted in August this year, 74 per cent of the respondents wanted cameras installed in taxis. Over 1,600 people responded to the poll, of which 1,200 people said yes to CCTV cameras in taxis.

Filipino Edlyn Lopez commented on Facebook: "Yes, we need it ... Some taxi drivers don't care about the warning signs on their screens when they are driving above the speed limit."

She said some drivers are very rude. "If you want to go to nearby places, they will tell you to walk ... even if the weather outside is really hot."

However, some residents said the move would be an infringement on the privacy of passengers.

Adeel Khan, a Pakistani residing in Sharjah, said: "Some women might find cameras in taxis very uncomfortable. It would be a good idea if ... taxis with CCTV cameras are marked. (This would) give people the option to choose which one they would like to travel in."

Facebook user Girish Edathitta said: "Installing CCTV inside taxis will improve the standard of service, but it will (make) ... some passengers (uncomfortable) ... especially females.

"Some people pay an exorbitant fare for getting some sort of privacy. Only a small percentage of passengers or drivers misbehave. This step will discourage genuine passengers from hiring such taxis," said Edathitta.

Some passengers expressed concerns over possible hikes in taxi fares as a result of cameras being installed.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88


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