Milan city to fund “black box” cameras for taxis

Boost in security for drivers and passengers in Milan.

Milan city hall has ring-fenced a fund of €500,000 to support taxi drivers who install state- of-the-art dash cams in their cars, in a bid to prevent violence and robberies.

Cabbies can apply to the municipal offices for a cash refund of 50 per cent of the cost of installing the equipment, up to a maximum of €150.

To be eligible, the gear has to include cameras covering both forward-facing and internal views, integrated GPS geopositioning, the possibility of silencing the audio recording, and a panic-button for emergency use.

Drivers will be responsible for advising passengers that they are “on cam” with a clearly visible warning notice, and for handing over the recordings to the police if needed.

We’re responding with this funding to a need expressed by some cabbies,” said city councillor Pierfrancesco Maran, “and we’ve already agreed the details with the organisations that represent the drivers.”

Cabbies had complained that they were easy prey for robbers. Only last September, a serial criminal managed to rob over €1,000 from six drivers in two weeks by threatening to kill them with a knife if they refused to hand over their takings.

He was eventually nabbed after one driver, who had already installed a safety camera, managed to get a good shot of him to give to the police.