Hobson’s choice for cabbies – if their passengers don’t mug them, Steven Joyce will

Mugger be buggered...I'm here to collect your fine.

Cabbies have good cause to be pissed off with meddling law-makers.

Too often they are mugged by their passengers.

But all is not lost. Those who are really bothered by the prospect of being attacked and robbed could do something about it and install security cameras

Nanny State prefers compulsion.

Stuff reports today on a raft of measures developed by the New Zealand Transport Agency including – disgracefully – hefty penalties for non-compliance.

The agency has done this after the Cabinet agreed to make cameras in taxis compulsory in a bid to improve driver safety after a spate of attacks.

But spates of attacks happen all over the show.

Alf could present the Cabinet with a dossier of attacks on people in or near public dunnies.

The latest is an attack on Auckland students outside Kawakawa’s famous Hundertwasser toilets.

According to Stuff, the police are saying this occurred after they stripped to their underwear and posed for pictures.

This was asking for trouble.

Sure enough, they got it.

The students had told police they were on a “scavenger hunt” when they were bashed and robbed by a man and woman on September 25.

Constable Jack Raitt, of Kawakawa police, said the students had failed to mention they were almost naked at the time of the attack, and police would be talking to them again.

It is not necessary to get your kit off to invite an attack in or near such toilets.

And Kawakawa is not the only place where such attacks happen.

An obvious solution would be to ban public dunnies.

Another is to festoon the dunnies with security cameras.

This would take care of preying poofs and perverts, too, at the small price of your privacy being sacrificed when you duck in for a pee.

But let’s get back to taxis.

The New Zealand Transport Agency’s proposals include a rule making it compulsory for taxis in main centres to have security cameras.

And if you ignore the edict?

You will be fined.

Taxis that do not install a camera will face a maximum $2000 fine for the individual, and up to $10,000 for the company, while disabling the camera would incur similar fines, plus 20 demerit points for the driver.

Allowing unauthorised people to view footage would also incur similar fines.

Federation executive director Tim Reddish said the level of fines was not welcomed by drivers but was seen as a necessary part of the rule.

And who will pick up the tab?

Yep. The public.

The Stuff report goes on –

It would be expensive to install cameras – a cost that would be passed on to customers – and the risk of fines would ensure everyone obeyed the new rule. It comes into effect from February, and will require all cabs in affected areas to have cameras by August next year.

About 30 submissions have been received.

NZTA will consider them to finalise the rule, before sending it to Transport Minister Steven Joyce for approval.

This probably means the bureaucrats will be buoyed by submissions which support the new policy proposals and will shred the ones that don’t.

Reddish is quoted as saying having cameras would make drivers feel safer.

But Alf is glad he is not a cabbie.

The drivers can’t win. If their passengers don’t mug them, the minister and his mandarins surely will.

2 Responses to Hobson’s choice for cabbies – if their passengers don’t mug them, Steven Joyce will

  1. nasska says:

    It’s worth noting that many cabs, at least in the main cities, are driven by contract drivers. They are usually working for a percentage of fares & are the ones taking the risks. The actual owner-licensee will have to pay for the security measures & I doubt that many of them would be overly concerned about their drivers’ well being. It’s to be regretted but in this instance, without compulsion, nothing will happen.

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