Taxi drivers, owners, and regulators have agreed to outfit Southern Nevada’s taxicabs with security cameras, ending months of often-contentious debate, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Cameras will be required in roughly 2,000 cabs by April 1.
Advocates believe surveillance will protect drivers by providing a deterrent to and evidence of crimes. “It’s bound to make it safer,” said Art McClenaghan, a former driver and long-time camera advocate. “Will it be a cure-all? Of course not. But it’s a huge step.” The decision came just over two months after the death of a taxi driver who was doused with gasoline and set aflame. He died four days after the attack. “Unfortunately, it took a driver being set on fire to finally get everyone’s attention,” said the daughter of one cabbie who was murdered. “The public, quite frankly, was tired of seeing it on the news.” A Las Vegas College study said crimes against drivers fell as much as 30 percent in the first year of mandated cab cameras in selected cities. Since Jan. 1, cab drivers have been the targets of 52 robberies and one killing.