New DriveCam Security System for Taxis and Other Passenger Vehicles
— DriveCam Video Systems announced on May 11 the availability of the DriveCam Passenger Transportation Mode (PTM), a new security feature that records images of the driver and passengers when a vehicle door is opened or closed.Fleets using DriveCam PTM also gain the full-featured benefits of the DriveCam system for identifying and improving risky driving habits. The DriveCam system uses a dual-lens video camera to record unsafe driving events, which are then used to counsel drivers on their driving habits. The new DriveCam PTM adds the ability to record a 16 second video clip each time a vehicle door is opened or closed. Recordings can also be activated through a remote switch, taxi meter, horn, lights, alarm, or any other electronic device. The DriveCam PTM includes the DriveCam Illuminator, a device that lights up the vehicle's interior with infrared light for recordings in low light conditions. DriveCam PTM answers the need for added security in light of the increasing level of criminal activity aimed at taxicab drivers. According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 18 of every 100,000 taxicab drivers were murdered on the job in 1998, a rate four times greater than that of police officers. The presence of the DriveCam PTM acts as a deterrent to would-be criminals, and the recordings can be used as evidence when a crime is committed. The system also allows managers to verify head counts, pickup times, and cash receipts.Many local governments around the U.S. have instituted regulations requiring cameras in taxicabs for added security. Although regulations for Las Vegas have not yet gone into effect, Whittlesea Bell, a leading Las Vegas taxicab fleet, has already installed DriveCam PTM in its 400 vehicles.