Montreal taxi drivers call for safety improvements after killing

Days after Ziad Bouzid was shot and killed in his taxi, drivers and companies are calling for improved security measures.

Ziad Bouzid was shot and killed in his taxi Wednesday morning

Diamond Taxi has raised $13,000 for the wife and three children of Ziad Bouzid, who was killed while driving his taxi overnight Wednesday. (Willy Lowry/CBC)

Three days after Ziad Bouzid was shot and killed in his taxi, drivers and companies are calling for improved security measures for employees.

Bouzid's death early Wednesday morning is being felt throughout Montreal's taxi industry, and many want these changes to happen quickly.

“I can assure you that Mr. Bouzid will not be forgotten and we will take the flag if it needs to be taken by someone,” said Denis Laramée, deputy general manager of Diamond Taxi.

The two main ideas right now are installing cameras inside taxi cabs, and putting a partition between drivers and customers, similar to what exists in New York.

“We're really looking at the cameras which have been proved to be effective in the U.S. reducing [crimes] by four times... but only if it's made mandatory by law.”

Some drivers also say they'd feel more comfortable if they had a camera in their cars.

“When somebody wants to hurt you, when he sees the camera it's sure that he won’t do that,” said Anouare El Azzouzi.

Others say a camera would only help after a crime was already committed and that a partition between drivers and customers is the best way to ensure their safety.

“If they have a partition there is no contact, but the camera, no, even though they put the camera, the client will not notice there's a camera inside the car,” said Maneuel Mollenthiel.

Laramée said he believes partitions aren't as effective as cameras for deterring violence against drivers if criminals fear being caught.

“It has to be in all the cabs and known by the public that when you get in a cab, it's there in all the vehicles, and you will be filmed,” said Laramée.

Diamond Taxi is also raising money for Bouzid's wife and three children, and has raised $13,000 as of Saturday afternoon.


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