In an effort to thwart crimes against cabdrivers, thousands of small security cameras will be installed in taxis across Chicago in the next few years to photograph passengers as they get in and out of the vehicles, reports the Chicago Tribune. Some taxi cab owners have hailed the high-tech move as a welcome alternative to ineffective plastic partitions that have been a mainstay of cabs for decades.
The cameras, which already have been used to solve one cab-related crime, are another example of Mayor Richard Daley’s efforts to blanket the city with electronic eyes in a bid to decrease crime. About 1,000 cameras have been installed in cabs so far, but more are coming. One of the largest companies predicts all of its cabs will have cameras by 2012. The tiny camera sits above the rear-view mirror and takes a panoramic picture when someone enters, or when the fare meter is turned on, and as they leave. Cabs must have signs informing passengers they will be photographed. Drivers who feel threatened can push a panic button to get more pictures of the passengers. Cabdrivers have been victims of high-profile crimes recently.