Seattle Cabbies Urge In-Car Security Cameras


More than three months after a Seattle tax driver was shot to death in an apparent robbery, fellow drivers are frustrated no changes have been made to ensure their safety. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says they raised $500 to install a small security camera in one cabs. They showed it off yesterday and made the case that every taxi in the area should have one. “Our lives are worth $500,” said driver Terry Davis. He was among the dozen members of the Cab Drivers’ Alliance of King County who said the cameras, mounted on dashboards to take pictures of passengers, would deter people from committing crimes.

Craig Leisy, the Seattle cab regulator, said a committee of drivers, taxi companies, riders, and others has been meeting since the killing and will issue recommendations by July 1. Virtually no taxis in the county are owned by cab companies. They’re owned in many cases by the drivers, who pay cab firms for dispatch services.

Frank Dowgwilla of Puget Sound Dispatch, doesn’t think his company should have to pay for the cameras, since it doesn’t own any taxis. “There’s no reason why owners can’t install the cameras today,” just as they purchase meters and radios, he said. Leisy said cities where taxi companies do own cabs required the companies to pay for the cameras. Others imposed a temporary surcharge of 25 cents per trip to help drivers recoup the cost of installing the cameras.


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