Auckland, Feb 11(ANI): New Zealand taxi drivers could soon be forced to install security cameras in their vehicles as the Government reacts to the slaying of Indian-origin taxi driver Hiren Mohini.
Police are still on the hunt for Mohini's attacker, but Transport Minister Steven Joyce and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson have announced that there would be a review of safety standards in the industry.
In what is seen as a vital development, Joyce and Wilkinson met representatives from the New Zealand Taxi Federation, taxi companies and others in the industry to debate the options for improving safety.
Joyce said the group was leaning towards security cameras over screens - which sometimes caused communication and air conditioning problems - but there would be a full investigation before any decision.
He said that it was no longer a question of if, but how and when a security order was made.
"Sadly, I think we've all come to the realization that taxi drivers in New Zealand are less safe than they were and it's not something anybody would wish for, but we have to look very closely at mandating a higher level of safety initiatives - particularly for those working at night," The New Zealand Herald quoted Joyce, as saying.
Meanwhile, Taxi Federation executive director Tim Reddish pointed out that there had been a 70 to 75 percent reduction in attacks on cabbies in Queensland since cameras were made compulsory.
"Over there everybody who gets a cab knows and there has been a cultural change in the way cab drivers are treated," Reddish said.
Reddish said the New Zealand taxi industry operated on a number of levels and he understood those at the lower end would be worried about cost.
"But my message to them is not to worry too much. The cost is recoverable over time and I don't think it is as big a barrier as they think it will be," he added.
According to the Taxi Federation, passengers will absorb the cost, but that would only amount to about 30 cent extra on the flagfall. (ANI)