City of Montreal unveils plan to improve taxi driver safety

The City of Montreal will have a new set of policies in place regarding the taxi industry by August, including new security measures such as mandatory cameras, Mayor Denis Coderre announced Monday.

Mandatory cameras, electronic payment among measures to protect drivers from crime

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says he wants to see the new taxi safety measures implemented "rapidly." (CBC)

The City of Montreal is aiming have a new set of taxi policies in place by August, including new security measures such as mandatory cameras in all cabs, Mayor Denis Coderre announced Monday.

The City’s taxi commission released a report in May that highlighted the need for cameras in taxis, among other security measures for drivers.

The commission’s study was sparked by the death of taxi driver Ziad Bouzid. He was shot and killed in his taxi in November 2013.

“I say it often and I repeat — taxi drivers are our ambassadors, and they are important contributors to mobility in Montreal. Let’s give them the framework they need for their safety and for assuring first rate customer service,” Coderre said in a news release.

While it sets out to provide a measure of added security for cab drivers, the City’s new taxi policy also aims to protect passengers’ privacy.

Coderre said footage from the cameras would only be available to police investigators.

The City of Montreal is now looking at ways to help with the cost of installing security cameras in Montreal taxis.

The mayor said GPS for cabs would also be mandatory, in order to allow first responders to quickly locate a cab driver or passenger in distress.

Electronic payment devices will also be required in taxis to reduce both the amount of cash on drivers and crimes of opportunity against them.

Dory Saliba, head of Quebec’s taxi industry committee, welcomed the new measures.

“In the long term, drivers will accept that this is important for their safety,” he said.