11th November 2015

Should you put cameras in your cab?

In-car cameras have been on the rise for many motorists, and none more so than taxi drivers. Many black cabs and private hire vehicles are beginning to install dashboard cameras (or ‘dash cams’) and in-cab passenger cameras for a variety of different reasons.

While the total number of motorists using vehicle-mounted cameras is still comparatively small, the figure has doubled over the last year, and we can only see that total rapidly increasing over time.

We’ve taken a closer look at why more motorists are equipping their vehicles with cameras and why you should seriously consider using them in your taxi as well.

Save on your insurance

For starters, owning a dash cam can significantly reduce your insurance premiums. Many insurers now regard the decision to install such camera equipment as a mark of a skilled and confident driver.

Dash cams can also provide accurate records of incidents, including time and date, GPS location and speed, as well as the accompanying video footage. With a wide range of cameras available – usually costing under £100 – alongside various phone apps, use of in-cab cameras is well worth the one-off cost for the amount they could save you in the long run.

A recent survey conducted by the RAC revealed that around a quarter of motorists believed that the presence of a dash cam in their vehicles would improve their driving. This is could perhaps be a psychological factor; the fact that motorists are aware that their driving is monitored greatly encourages them to drive more safely.

Prove driver innocence

A front facing camera is fitted to your dashboard and usually contains a wide-angle lens to capture the full view from the windscreen. The road ahead is recorded, as are any noticeable bumps or jerking motions from the sides, allowing a viewer to easily recognise any bad driving.

Common cases of drivers intentionally causing accidents, often dubbed ‘cash for crash’ scams, are easily detected using such camera footage. By installing a dash cam, drivers are completely safe in the knowledge that they’ll have conclusive proof should somebody else cause an accident.

Not only can dash cams protect you, they can also provide evidence for other cases ahead of your vehicle, including traffic or pedestrian offences. Footage from in-car cameras can be used in court cases to settle any disputes, contributing to fewer offences being carried out on the road.

Identify unruly passengers

We know that problem passengers can be an issue at times as well. No taxi driver should ever have to put up with violent or abusive passengers, but unfortunately it can happen on occasion. If it ever does, use of an in-cab camera can help to identify those in the wrong.

Convictions have already been made in the past, around the world, where taxi passengers have been caught on camera abusing their drivers. You may have noticed internal cameras becoming a lot more common in black cabs, and now private hire vehicles are beginning to embrace the technology too.

Alongside specifically installed cameras, phone apps that utilise both front and back cameras can be downloaded to your own devices. When mounted on the dashboard, capable devices can simultaneously monitor events inside and outside of the vehicle using both cameras. This can be a much cheaper alternative to using specially made cameras, but may not be able to capture as much footage in total.

All in all, the use of cameras in your taxi can be extremely beneficial to protect you from problem customers, false accident claims and ultimately reduce your insurance costs overall. Find out how much you could save on Taxi Insurance with Freeway by clicking below.

Taxi Insurance from Freeway

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