Telford taxi drivers face new CCTV rules

Newly proposed licence conditions could see taxi and private hire operators around the Shropshire town of Telford legally bound to submit in-car CCTV footage to the authorities on request.

While UK law doesn’t yet insist that surveillance equipment is carried by taxis, Telford and Wrekin Council members currently encourage operators to install CCTV in the vehicles it awards licences to.

Recommendations for the council

In a recent report created for the licensing committee at the local authority, Anita Hunt, public protection manager, commented that the revised policy for Private Hire and Hackney Carriage is designed to make sure onboard CCTV systems are compliant with the council’s standards and will also require that video footage be made available to an officer of the authority. Additionally, the new rules have also nominated the local council as the dedicated data controller for any footage collected by the cab’s cameras.

The report stated:

“The main consideration, when reviewing the council’s policies and conditions of licence, remains ensuring public safety. Licensing authorities have a legal duty to have regard to the statutory standards relating to Hackney carriage and private hire licensing.”

Why install CCTV in taxis?

The report commented that the CCTV onboard taxis and private hire vehicles served multiple purposes. While predominantly deterring, preventing, and reducing the fear of criminal activity, and assisting police with criminal investigations, the report also stated that CCTV could help motor insurers when they are investigating an accident.

CCTV devices can help taxi and private hire operators to quickly provide evidence that any incident on the road resulting in vehicle damage did not occur due to their negligence or unsafe driving. This can provide a more straightforward and simple process for claims. For this reason, insurance companies may offer cabs carrying CCTV lower premiums which can add up to substantial savings over time.

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