Warrington Borough Council has completed the roll-out of an advanced driver and passenger monitoring system from VisionTrack across 570 hackney carriage and private hire vehicles licensed in the town. The camera solution is part of the local authority’s commitment to protecting the travelling public, while ensuring the privacy and safety of licenced drivers.

Depending on the size of the taxi, the monitoring solution includes a single or multi camera configuration, which continuously records when the vehicle ignition is on. The infrared (IR) camera technology is suitable for video capture at any time – day or night – while in-vehicle buttons enable both the driver and passenger to trigger sound recording for a three-minute period. A privacy mode button is also located in the boot of the vehicle. This allows the vehicle to be used temporarily for private journeys without recordings being made; before returning to full CCTV operation when being used for taxi licensing.

A mobile digital video recorder (MDVR) stores footage and audio for a maximum of 30 days, with accurate date and time stamps recorded when a driver or passenger button is activated. The system includes multi-layered security with a range of safeguards to prevent tampering and protect data. The footage will only ever be viewed in the event of an incident or authorised request in accordance with the Council’s download policy. The exact footage for the incident can be selected and images can be pixelated to protect privacy.

The public are being urged to look out for the yellow CCTV stickers in vehicles and to ask about whether CCTV has been fitted in the vehicle, when making a booking. The system will display a green light when it is operating.

Richard Lane, Commercial Director of VisionTrack commented: “There is growing pressure for taxis to be fitted with cameras in the interests of passenger and driver safety. While the adoption of a monitoring solution is not yet mandatory, a growing number of licencing authorities are proceeding with plans to introduce the technology as part of their licence conditions. As a result, we are working with a number of local authorities, such as Warrington Borough Council, to help develop advanced systems that meet the high standards needed in terms of quality, data protection and privacy.”