BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Buffalo Common Council is considering a resolution to put security cameras in all taxicabs. It's a direct response to the murder of Airport Taxi driver, Mazen Abdallah, earlier this month.
The Council could pass an ordinance that would require all taxis that operate within the city to install security cameras. But before lawmakers act, they want to hear from cabbies.
North District Councilman Joseph Golombek, Jr. said, "Although we have gotten a little bit of pushback, from representatives of the taxi industry, especially the independent drivers, who say that it's more important to have the glass/plexiglass windows separating the front and the back seat, the customers from the drivers."
Frank Bona of Airport Taxi said, "We would have to explore it. It would be, definitely, new to the area. But if it could be used as a deterrent, to ward off evil. I would be all for it."
Cost is one potential roadblock. Cab companies would have to pay for the cameras on their own.
"When it comes to the smaller independents, they're not making a lot of money to begin with. And now what they'd have to do is they'd have to use some of that money that's their profits to put in towards cameras," Golombek said.
Councilmembers and local taxi operators are getting together at City Hall next week, to hash out the details.
Bona said, "You can't just jump into it and just start adding electronics into the taxicabs. I'd like to know exactly what the focus is on it, what the coverage is on it.
"I have a feeling that, after talking to the industry, we're going to take a look and probably change it somewhat, maybe make it a recommendation rather than a requirement," Golombek said. "We want to make sure that the taxi drivers are safe out there."
Bona added, "I appreciate the input from the Common Council. We work very closely with the Common Council."
The taxi committee meeting is next Wednesday, March 27, at 11 a.m.
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