INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minister working w taxi industry in wake of murder

Published: Wed 17 Dec 2008 01:26 PM
Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport
December 17 2008
Media Statement
Minister working with taxi industry in wake of murder
Transport Minister Steven Joyce has asked officials to work with the taxi industry to explore options available to improve driver safety.
Mr Joyce met with representatives of the New Zealand Taxi Federation last night in the wake of the death of taxi driver Abdulrahman Ikhtari in Christchurch on 5 December.
“I am working with the industry to encourage all taxi companies – but particularly those which offer services late at night in our major centres – to adopt increased safety measures.
“Current legislation does not prohibit the installation of safety screens of an approved type, security cameras or distress buttons in taxis. The installation of these devices is both the choice and responsibility of those who employ taxi drivers and their taxi companies.
“I have asked officials to do a stock take on the taxi fleet to see what the uptake of these safety measures has been; what options there are to encourage uptake, particularly of security cameras; and what cost implications would result.”
Initial estimates suggest that uptake has been variable.
Mr Joyce says he hopes to receive a report from officials in the New Year.
“In the mean time, I urge all taxi companies to reassess their safety measures and take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of their drivers, particularly those driving late at night,” says Mr Joyce.
ENDS

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