In a move to enhance the safety of taxi and fleet-car drivers, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani are now requiring the use of digital security cameras in for-hire vehicles, if they do not use a partition as a chosen safety measure. According to the Daily News, nine New York livery car drivers were killed in 1999. A $350 fine will be issued for any taxi or member of a fleet-car company that does not have a digital camera or a partition. However, the mayor has decided the city will reimburse individuals up to a maximum of $325 toward the cost of either a new partition or a new in-vehicle digital camera system, which meets TLC specifications and is installed by an authorized vendor. The in-vehicle security camera takes digital photo images of the entire passenger area of the vehicle. The system includes infrared lighting installed above the vehicle’s rear-view mirror, enabling the capture of digital images during day or night. The images are stamped with the time and date, along with the vehicle identification number, and stored in a small controller unit securely installed in the vehicle.

The TLC and the New York Police Department have approved only two camera models for the job, the VerifeyeTaxi-Cam 1500, and the Raywood Snapshot RDC 2010. According to the TLC, additional models may be approved in the future following an evaluation of their compliance with TLC specifications.

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