Indian origin taxi drivers in New Zealand say cameras won't stop all violence

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Wellington, Apr 1 (ANI): Auckland taxi drivers have mixed feelings about the New Zealand Government's moves to make surveillance cameras mandatory in their cabs, following a safety review prompted by the murder of Indian-origin taxi driver Hiren Mohini here.

Some taxi drivers said nothing will make them feel safe enough at night.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce said on Wednesday that he would recommend to the Cabinet that taxi companies be required to install cameras in cabs in cities and large towns throughout New Zealand.

That follows advice from officials that attack on taxi drivers in Australia dropped by at least 70 per cent after cab cameras became compulsory.

The Taxi Federation welcomed the minister's decision, following murders of two cabbies in little more than a year, NZ Herald reports.

Several recent assaults have been reported in Tauranga, including the bashing a week ago of a 55-year-old cabbie left with serious facial and head injuries.

Vivek Rao, of Reliable Cabs, used to drive at night but Mohini's murder drew a demand from his family that he must operate only in daylight hours.

He did not believe cameras would be an effective enough deterrence for passengers bent on violence, some of whom would be too drunk to notice them, and believed the Government should at least offer loans to drivers hard-pressed to afford the extra cost.

"It is hard to deal with those people who get drunk and threaten you, or fall asleep in the car," he said.

Fellow driver Major Aujla said that if the cabbies were required to pay for mandatory security measures, they should be entitled to choose between cameras and protective screens, which he elieved would be more effective. (ANI)

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