Camera concerns after driver dobbed in

Taxi drivers are using security camera footage against each other, resulting in at least one Dunedin operator being fined.

The driver was seen by a rival taxi operator over-loading a vehicle and was reported to police, who obtained the operator's own incriminating footage and used it to prosecute.

The move has prompted the New Zealand Taxi Federation to challenge the notion drivers are required to supply security camera footage if it is to be used as evidence against them.

Dunedin taxi owners and operators were united yesterday in the view security cameras were for the protection of drivers and passengers, not for prosecution.

They supported the federation's stance that operators had the right to refuse police or New Zealand Transport Agency requests for footage which could be incriminating.

United Taxis owner and operator Bill Overton said it was pathetic some drivers went out of their way to dob in others from rival firms.

Mr Overton happily supplied footage to police if a wanted person had used a company taxi, as was the case recently.

But footage should not be used against drivers, he said.

"They are for the drivers' protection, not prosecution."

Taxi federation executive member and Otago representative Murray Alcock, of Dunedin Taxis, said in certain situations "every assistance" should be given to police.

However, he shared the view that taxi cameras were intended to be used in the protection of drivers and passengers only.

The federation has asked for a policy document to be written, to give guidance to the transport agency and police.

Federation executive director Tim Reddish was quoted in the federation's monthly publication saying it was "unsound" for drivers to initiate footage requests against rivals.

 

Take it on the chin

The driver broke the rules, got caught out and was fined. Big deal, he should just pay up, shut up and learn from it.
The fact that the NZ Taxi Federation is arguing the case makes all taxi drivers look like a bunch of cowboys. [Abridged]

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