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Safety cameras in taxis

In 2001, the Victorian Government introduced safety camera systems in taxis to improve the safety of taxi drivers, passengers and for law enforcement purposes.

Safety cameras are mandated in taxis licensed to operate in the metropolitan and urban taxi zones. The cameras deter violence and assist Victoria Police in identifying and catching those responsible for attacks against drivers.

It is illegal to operate a taxi fitted with a safety camera system that is not fully functional. Operators and drivers have responsibilities to ensure the safety camera fitted in the taxi is operating as required at all times. Fines and rectification notices will be issued to any driver and/or operator found to have a safety camera not working properly.

Information on this page

Privacy measures

Ensuring the privacy of taxi passengers and drivers is paramount. The purpose of the safety cameras is to record incidents in taxis for investigative purposes only. Images of everyday passenger trips are not viewed or retained by any person. Stickers are attached to each exterior door of the taxi and on the dashboard to tell passengers there is a camera system operating in the taxi. Victoria's privacy legislation prohibits audio recording in taxis.

See Taxi Services Commission (TSC) Privacy Policy.

How the cameras work

Taxi safety cameras operate at all times while the vehicle is operating. Following the report of an incident to Victoria Police, images can be downloaded. Victoria Police will determine if an incident warrants a download.

Only Industry Compliance Officers are authorised to download images from the cameras. Taxi drivers and taxi owners are not permitted to have access to images collected by the cameras under any circumstances.

Camera downloads

The TSC undertakes the procedure of obtaining images from the taxi safety cameras when requested by Victoria Police.

The requests for images are triaged, based on the severity of incident. Serious cases are attended to immediately, irrespective as to the time or day of the week. Less serious cases will be considered in line with operational requirements, however is likely to be conducted on the next business day.

Some examples of serious cases that are attended to immediately:

  • Assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Sexual assault (of any type).

Some examples of less serious cases that will be attended to on the next business day:

  • Criminal damage
  • Fare evasion
  • Obtain property by deception
  • Fraud
  • Theft.

Information for Victoria Police

Procedure to obtain camera download footage for crime investigations:

Business hours (8:00am - 6:00pm):

  1. Contact the TSC Call Centre: 1800 638 802
  2. Provide vehicle registration and officer details (you will be transferred to the on-call Industry Compliance Officer)
  3. The completed VP1045 is required to be sent by fax or email to the contact details nominated by the Industry Compliance Officer.

After hours and weekends:

  1. Contact D24
  2. Provide vehicle registration and requesting officers details
  3. D24 will contact the TSC on-call Industry Compliance Officer
  4. The completed VP1045 is required to be sent by fax or email to the contact details nominated by the Industry Compliance Officer. 

When obtained, images are given to Victoria Police for evidence purposes and no copies are retained by the TSC. Taxi camera images remain the property of Victoria Police and are not required to be returned to the TSC on completion of any investigations.

Make sure your camera is working

It is essential that drivers and operators ensure that the taxi safety camera is operating in their taxi at all times.   

The camera system must have a visual indicator showing when the camera is operational and when there is a malfunction.  

The indicator light must be clearly visible to the driver when seated in the normal driving position, and is generally mounted into or attached to the dashboard of the vehicle on the driver's side of the steering column.  

The operation of the light indicates the status of the system as follows:

(a) Green – indicates normal operation.
(b) Single Red flash then Green flashing – indicates the system has received a valid trigger.
(c) Red Flashing – indicates a system fault.
(d) Simultaneous Red and Green Flash (every six seconds) indicates the system is asleep.
(e) No light – no power, system fault.

If the indicator light does not operate as above or is showing a colour other than green, then the taxi must be presented to a technician authorised by the camera supplier for repairs/servicing.

Free safety camera checks

The TSC offers free taxi safety camera checks at the Quality Assurance Centre.

The audit includes assessment of camera memory storage and alignment but does not include repairs or maintenance.

You must make a booking for this free service.

Please call (03) 9338 0093 to secure an appointment.

Implementation of next generation taxi safety cameras

For taxis operating in the Metropolitan and Urban & Large Regional zones:

All taxis must be fitted with a camera system approved by the TSC under the 2009 specifications. 

For taxis operating in the Regional and Country zones

Taxis may be fitted with a camera system if the security camera system is approved by the TSC under the 2009 specifications.

Approved camera systems

Taxi safety cameras approved under the 2009 Taxi Safety Camera Specifications

Camera make Model Approved
VerifEye TaxiCam Mark 5 July 2014
VerifEye*
Superseded
Taxicam Mk IV Rev.K October 2010

* Please note: the VerifEye Mk IV Rev K is no longer supplied to the Victorian market. 

However, this camera remains approved under regulation 17 of the current regulations

Consequently, the Rev K camera can remain operating in the taxi it was originally fitted in. Further, a taxi operator can refit the Rev K to his/her replacement vehicle if the camera remains in good working order. 

The following camera systems are not approved for installation:

Camera make Model Approved
Raywood RDC 3020 Snapshot November 2001
Martin
(Martin Meters Tullamarine)
Cabcam DV In-Cab Digital Video Recorder June 2002
Sigtec Sigtec MK III July 2002
Infonics (formerly Bitron) Arkive 32 July 2002
VerifEye
Superseded
TSCS Mk IV Taxicam October 2008

If you have any questions about the implementation, please contact us.

About the specifications

The specifications reflect work at a national level to improve taxi camera capability and performance, and advances in technology since the original camera specifications were developed.

The advantages of camera systems approved under the 2009 specifications include:

  • increased memory capacity
  • continuous recording instead of triggered snap-shot images
  • faster easier downloads
  • significantly improved image quality
  • longer image storage periods, and
  • an improvement in system security.

These cameras will improve taxi driver and passenger safety by assisting Victoria Police to identify and prosecute offenders.

If you have any questions about the implementation, please contact us.

Camera suppliers

VerifEye

Telephone 07 5456 2277
Mail PO Box 819
Kunda Park QLD 4556
Website VerifEye

Information for camera suppliers

Camera suppliers are required to read the Approval requirements document:

Suppliers also need to complete the Statement of compliance:

The Private Security Act 2004 (Vic) requires installers of security equipment (and businesses that employ installers) to be registered as a security business. Contact details and further information about the registration process are available on the Victoria Police website.

In addition to the Taxi Safety Camera Approval Requirements, camera suppliers are also required to submit evidence of the appropriate security business registration. A certified copy of your registration certificate or written confirmation from Victoria Police will satisfy this requirement.

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