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Security cameras in taxis

On 23 December 2016, the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) determined and gazetted a new Taxi-Cab Security Camera Specification to apply to all security cameras installed in taxi-cabs licensed to operate in the Melbourne Metropolitan zone and/or the Urban (and Large Regional) zone.

The Victorian Government first introduced taxi-cab security camera systems (camera system) in 2001 to improve the safety of taxi drivers, passengers and for law enforcement purposes.

Taxis licensed to operate in the metropolitan and urban taxi zones must be fitted with a camera system approved by the TSC under the 2016 Taxi-cab security camera specification.

The philosophy guiding the 2016 Taxi-Cab Security Camera Specification is to focus on required outcomes, without being overly prescriptive or solution oriented. The camera specifications outline the minimum requirements for approval of a taxi-cab security camera system.

Applicants are encouraged to develop innovative ways of meeting (or exceeding) the functional and technical requirements of the camera specifications, and to submit them to the TSC for consideration. 

Additional functionality may be accommodated within the camera system, subject to approval by the TSC.

Approval will not be granted if the additional functionality could degrade the integrity and operation of the camera system.

The VerifEye Taxicam Mark 5 and Mark 4 Rev K cameras approved under the 2009 taxi-cab security camera specification will continue to meet the requirements set out in the new 2016 specification.

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 security camera system that is not fully functional. Operators and drivers have responsibilities to ensure the security 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 security camera not working properly.

Information on this page

Privacy measures

Ensuring the privacy of taxi passengers and drivers is paramount. The purpose of the camera system 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. The Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 prohibits audio recording in taxis.

For more information see Taxi Services Commission (TSC) Privacy Policy.

Camera downloads

Taxi security cameras must operate at all times while the taxi is operating. Following the report of an incident to the TSC or Victoria Police, images can be downloaded by an authorised officer.

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

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 security camera system 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 security camera checks

The TSC offers free taxi security 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.

2016 Taxi-cab security camera specifications

On 23 December 2016, the TSC published the 2016 Taxi-cab Security Camera Specification (2016 specification) in the Government Gazette. The 2016 specification replaces the Function and performance specification for a taxi safety camera system 2009 version 3.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.

Approved camera systems

Taxi-cab security camera systems approved under the 2016 Taxi Safety Camera Specifications

Camera make

Model

Approved

13CABS

13CABSi

July 2017

VerifEye

TaxiCam Mark 5

July 2014

VerifEye

TaxiCam Mark 4 Rev. K

October 2010

Camera suppliers

13CABS

Telephone

02 9277 3700

Mail

PO Box 288
Oakleigh VIC 3166  

VerifEye

Telephone

07 5456 2277

Mail

PO Box 819
Kunda Park QLD 4556

Information for camera suppliers

Camera suppliers are invited to make submissions for approval of their taxi-cab security camera system. Please read the Approval requirements document for further information about how to make a submission:

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 Security 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.

If you have any questions regarding the taxi-cab security camera approval process please contact the Operational Policy team at the TSC on 1800 638 802.

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