Nanaimo taxi companies won't install security cameras, citing high cost

By Spencer Sterritt
May 15, 2018 - 3:11pm

Nanaimo's two taxi companies won't install security cameras, objecting to the high cost.The Canadian Press

NANAIMO — Despite community concern for the safety of passengers, cameras won't be installed in Nanaimo taxis.

A staff report presented to Nanaimo councillors showed there's no legal way to force taxi companies to install cameras. Instead, the two local companies must opt into the security features, which acting public safety director Karen Fry said wouldn't happen.

“While one taxi company did support the idea...it would only be if the other company did as well. The other company said they weren't prepared to spend that money.”

The new cameras were expected to cost between $800 and $2,500 per vehicle.

Though several communities across the province have taxi cameras, including North Vancouver and Prince George, their programs were all optional and decided on by the taxi companies themselves.

The news didn't sit well with concerned citizen Bill Manners, who spoke about how cameras would have helped a taxi driver who was robbed by two men back in 2008.

“The taxi driver now suffers from bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder and has recently been forced to give up his chauffeurs license after 43 years. That driver is me.”

Manners said he's seen the issue increasingly fall off the radar since then.

“I got robbed and everything stopped. Plans were in process to implement and were approved by both companies...Now it's become more of a money issue.”

Nanaimo police also advocated for the cameras, saying they would ensure safety for all.

“Cameras would be the next logical step to keep both parties safe,” Cst. Gary O'Brien previously told NanaimoNewsNOW.

The initial report was requested by Nanaimo RCMP at a public safety committee meeting. 

It's an issue which likely won't be back before Nanaimo councillors, who voted to receive the report but made no further initiatives or motions.

 

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