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Taxi security cameras

The taxi security camera program was introduced in Queensland in 2005 to enhance the safety and security of taxi drivers and passengers. Taxis operating in the taxi service areas listed below are all currently required to have an approved taxi security camera system installed and fully operational.

  • Brisbane
  • Bundaberg
  • Cairns
  • Gladstone
  • Gold Coast
  • Gympie
  • Hervey Bay
  • Innisfail
  • Ipswich
  • Mackay
  • Maryborough
  • Mount Isa
  • Redcliffe
  • Rockhampton
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville
  • Yeppoon.

Taxis operating in other service areas may voluntarily choose to install an approved taxi security camera system. The use of camera systems in taxis improves the safety of passengers and taxi drivers by deterring would-be offenders and providing a key source of evidence for incidents in a taxi.

Find more information on supporting documents and forms for taxi security cameras.

The taxi security camera program

The Queensland Government believes that audio and video recording will help provide more accurate evidence in prosecuting anti-social behaviour in taxis. The department has introduced changes to further enhance the safety and security of taxi drivers and passengers.

Changes to camera systems will be completely phased in by 1 July 2018 following legislation amendments in December 2013.

Key changes include:

  • new Queensland camera system specifications
  • an open supply arrangement
  • an approval committee to assess future camera systems to make sure they meet the new specifications
  • changes to the legislative framework.

Legislation changes

In December 2013, the Queensland Government introduced legislative changes to the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulation 2005 that affect the taxi security camera program and aim to improve the effectiveness of this program. Legislative changes allow for the introduction of camera systems with audio capability. The introduction of audio will be phased in to provide the taxi industry with sufficient time to prepare for the change. The department has released new specifications for camera systems which include audio.

The table summarises other changes to the legislation that are now in effect.

December 2005 to December 2013 After December 2013
Drivers must not drive the vehicle while it is available for hire if the camera system is not fully operational (as indicated by the visual indicator). In addition to the previous requirement, drivers must make sure that the view from the camera system lenses are not obstructed or obscured and, if applicable, the recording of audible sound is not obscured.
Licence holders in mandatory areas, must ensure that a taxi operated under the licence is fitted with a camera system. Operators are now responsible for this.
Licence holders must make sure that:
- the camera system is fully operational when they make it available to the operator
and
- the taxi has an approved sign at each relevant place in the taxi.
These requirements have been removed from licence holders.
Licence holders or operators can give the department notice if the camera system is not fully operational. Only operators can give notice if the camera system is not fully operational. Operators are also responsible for giving notice if the camera system is not properly fitted.
Operators must ensure that when they make the taxi available to a driver the camera system is fully operational. In addition to the previous requirement, operators must also make sure that:
- the camera system is properly fitted (this means fitted and aligned in accordance with the approved specifications
- the view from the camera system’s lenses are not obstructed or obscured; and
- the recording of audible sound is not obscured, if applicable
Operators are responsible for ensuring that downloaded recordings are kept for not less than 30 days, but not more than 35 days, after the day the recording was downloaded. The timeframe that operators must do this has changed. Downloaded recordings are to be kept for not less than 60 days but not more than 90 days.

Passenger privacy will continue to be protected through legislative safeguards and penalties.

Introduction of guidelines and taxi security camera download notification form

With the introduction of a new camera system, the department has released a revised Queensland Guidelines on the Installation and Use of Taxi Security Camera Systems. The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide information for all stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities so that the safety and evidentiary value of camera systems is achieved and individual privacy is protected. It is recommended that operators make themselves familiar with their obligations concerning the installation and use of camera systems.
The department has also introduced an amended taxi security camera download notification form. The form has been simplified to 1 page to assist in efficient record keeping. Operators are required to complete the form in full when a download has been conducted and submit to the department within 1 business day via email. To provide additional support, the department has created an instructional worksheet on how best to complete the notification form.

The download notification form, instructions and the Guidelines are available electronically.

Release of Taxi Security Camera System Specifications 2013

The department released Queensland Camera System Specifications. All future approved taxi security camera systems will be required to meet the new specifications. The new specifications support the overall changes to the taxi security camera program to enhance the safety and security of taxi drivers and passengers.

Following the introduction of these specifications, all future approved camera systems will be required to record:

  • audio, as well as the existing image recording requirements
  • audio and images continuously for 72 hours before being overwritten
  • images at a minimum rate of 3 frames per second.

The previous Queensland Taxi Security Camera Specifications January 2006 will still be applicable for the current approved camera system until approval is revoked at a later date. For information on the maintenance of the earlier camera equipment please contact the sole supplier of the previously approved camera systems, VerifEye Aust Pty Ltd http://www.verifeye.com.

The department will announce via the Government Gazette and departmental website when new camera systems are approved.

Approved Taxi Security Camera Systems

The department has approved the following taxi security cameras systems under the Queensland Taxi Security Camera Specifications May 2015, by Gazette notice.

  • The Mark 5 TaxiCam, supplied by VerifEye Technologies, has been approved for installation and use in Queensland from 1 July 2015.
  • The SnapShot Mark 4 with internal camera model PV3006-001 supplied by Mobile Tracking and Data (MTData) Pty Ltd, from 4 December 2015.
  • The SnapShot Mark 4 with internal camera model PV3006-002 supplied by Mobile Tracking and Data (MTData) Pty Ltd, from 5 February 2016.

All taxi operators in contracted taxi services areas will have 3 years to transition their existing taxi security camera system out of use and replace with 1 of the approved systems listed. Additional camera systems may be approved and added to the list. Operators in metered and exempt taxi service areas, who currently have a taxi camera system installed, will also be required to transition to a new system if they wish to continue using a security camera.

The existing approval for VerifEye TSCS-Q, and all variations of this system, will be revoked on 31 December 2017, with all operators having a further 6 months after this date to remove or replace their existing system. Full compliance with the May 2015 specifications is required from 1 July 2018.

The department will consider additional applications, with the expectation that additional camera systems may be approved in the near future. Operators can expect there to be multiple approved systems to choose from and are not required to replace their existing cameras until such time necessary or at the end of the transition period on 1 July 2018.

Please note: the department will not be providing financial assistance or subsidy for the installation of the new camera systems.

Use of recordings

Recordings from taxi security camera systems can provide key evidence when investigating an incident in or about a taxi. However, to protect the privacy of passengers and drivers the download and use of recordings is tightly controlled. Under the passenger transport legislation, recordings can only be used for authorised purposes which relate to the safety and security of people or system maintenance.

If a complaint or incident is reported to the Queensland Police Service, a taxi booking company or an operator they may arrange for a download if it meets the legislated authorised purposes.

Who can download recordings from taxi security camera systems?

The Queensland Police Service has download facilities and the department has authorised all taxi booking companies and some operators to provide download services. A download can only be performed by an authorised person.

For detailed information on how recordings are downloaded and used, please refer to the Guidelines on the Installation and Use of Taxi Security Camera Systems.

How much does it cost to download recordings?

Downloads are free.

How long after an incident can footage be downloaded?

For the previously approved camera systems, a taxi security camera system is required to record continuously for a minimum of 32 hours (while the vehicle is operating) before the recording is overwritten. If you have a complaint about something that happened in or about a taxi you are encouraged to contact the taxi booking company or the Queensland Police Service as soon as possible after the incident to allow time for a download to be undertaken. Downloads of recordings from a taxi security camera system should be made within 32 hours after the incident to avoid the overwriting of the recording. The only exception to this is if the driver presses the duress alarm. Recordings tagged at this time will be kept for a set period of 168 hours (7 days).

Following the introduction of new camera systems approved since May 2015, the recording time will change to a prescribed 72 hours of continuous recording. During the transition period up to July 2018, unless you know the taxi has a camera system installed which records for the prescribed 72 hours, you should assume that there is only 32 hours of recording time before the memory is overwritten.

What measures are taken to make sure privacy protections are followed?

The department conducts regular audits to ensure that all aspects of the taxi security camera program are complied with. Transport legislation has tough penalties for any person caught tampering with a taxi security camera system or using downloaded recordings illegally.

Supplier submissions open for taxi security camera system approval

The department is now accepting applications from suppliers for taxi security camera system approval. Supplier applications will be considered by the Taxi Security Camera System Approval Committee to evaluate whether the product is appropriate for use in the Queensland Taxi Industry. The approval committee will make a decision to grant approval based on the camera system’s ability to perform as required by the new specifications, the reputation of the supplier and the supplier’s ability to provide ongoing support for the camera system.

All information relating to application requirements and the Statement of Compliance is available in the Taxi Security Camera System Approval Process. Please review this information before submitting an application.

Please address all applications to:

Reception TransLink Division
Taxi Security Camera Program
Taxi and Limousine Regulation Unit
Department of Transport and Main Roads
61 Mary St
Brisbane Queensland 4000

Please note that only complete submissions will be accepted for consideration.

For any enquiries, please contact the Taxi and Limousine Regulation Unit on (07) 3338 4461 or taxi@translink.com.au.

Last updated
20 May 2016

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