More lost items return since camera installation in Abu Dhabi taxis

Dated: 09/08/2016

Jasmine Al Kuttab (Abu Dhabi) – Khaleej Times Newspaper

All Abu Dhabi taxis are now installed with CCTV cameras and sound recording systems which is helping passengers when it comes to getting back their lost properties. The installation of the security system started in June 2015.

The security project, which took a year to complete, reveals that the percentage of lost and never returned items have decreased dramatically since installation in all 7,645 taxis.

In 2014 the lost items that were returned to the rightful owners was only 14 per cent. However, since the cameras have been fixed, the duly returned items have increased to a whopping 60 per cent, proving that the role of the modern surveillance has been effective.

Authorities receive as many as 2,000 calls a month from passengers claiming that they have lost items inside taxis, which the security and sound recording system help prove.

The cameras, imbedded in the dash window of the cabs, allows the CCTV to be streamed live to TransAD and government monitoring authorities.

The security system not only helps locate passengers' lost items, but it also to deal with disputes, as well as curb dangerous driving habits, such as speeding and the use of mobile phones.

Residents in the Capital told Khaleej Times that the security systems have certainly put their minds at ease.

"I heavily rely on taxis to take me from home to work, as parking is often a hassle, but my family used to worry when I travel by taxis, especially when it's long distance," said 29 year old Zainab Al Adhami.

"Since installation of the security cameras, I can certainly say that my family feel that I am safer, and I also know that my items are safe if I lose or forget them."

Alana Clark said she has noticed more taxi drivers driving with caution since the imbedding of the cameras.

"I used to always see cab drivers messaging while driving - it is a horrid and dangerous habit and puts peoples' lives at risk."

"I can say that I rarely see drivers using their mobile phones on the roads now, and it definitely puts my mind at ease."

Clark also pointed out that the cameras are helping passengers when it comes to losing their items.

"My friend lost her phone and wallet in the taxi, and her items were immediately returned to her, I believe it's thanks to the security system," she recalled.

However, it is not only passengers who believe that modern technology is helping make journeys a breeze.

Taxi drivers agree that the cameras have made a positive change in their daily lives, while highlighting that it has immensely helped purge quarrels and disputes.

"Many taxi drivers were not paid the right and fair amount by their customers, and some would not be paid at all - because some customers would ask drivers to wait, and never return," said MA a taxi driver.

"Many passengers treated me badly in the past, some would shout and speak rudely, but I feel such bad treatment has decreased significantly."

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