In this month's analysis advice, we take a look at how increasing cases of violence on taxi drivers may spark new safety implementations to protect drivers
May 2014 Monthly Analysis: Violence in taxis Photo: sgCarMart.com

In our modern civilised society, none of us should be subjected to violence. Whatever the reasons are, be it stress from work, not having sufficient rest, or simply due to binge drinking, the outbreak of incidents involving violence has seen an increase recently.

We argue that these incidents should not happen in the first place, but all the more such actions should not involve innocent parties - more specifically taxi drivers who are trying to make a humble living.

Of late, there have been a number of assault cases involving taxi drivers. Just a few months back, an undergraduate from SIM University rained punches on a cabby and was sentenced to three weeks' jail.

Last year, a Norwegian man was also caught for turning violent at a taxi driver after refusing to pay for the cab fare.

Modern technologies, however, can help to put a stop to such acts. CCTV cameras are gaining popularity thanks to their ability to provide security surveillance. We have also seen them being installed in various public transport hubs as well as on buses and trains.

The recent incidents, as such, may spark a move to equip taxis with such devices.

In-car cameras can effectively deter violence, and provide useful evidence of the incident, which can then be used to pinpoint and track down the suspect. Cameras can also prevent other unlawful acts, such as the increasingly common non-paying passengers.

In more serious cases, crimes can include robbery, molestation and even murder. There is no doubt of the role cabin cameras can play in such regretful incidents.

Compared to other countries which already have such security implementation in place, we are relatively dated. And with the authorities stepping up public transport security, this move is necessary to further enhance the watchdog's capability as a whole. 

Technology has helped enhance the quality of our lives. In this case, it can better safeguard the interests of taxi drivers who, like anyone of us, should not be left vulnerable to violence.