Security Cameras Effective in Curbing Cab Driver Homicides

A study by researchers at NIOSH’s Division of Safety Research determined the homicide rate in cities that installed them was seven times lower than before the cameras were installed.

A newly published study by researchers from NIOSH's Division of Safety Research concludes placing security cameras inside taxicabs will significantly reduce the number of cab driver homicides. Many cities and companies have used in-vehicle cameras and partitions to combat the problem, but until now research into the effectiveness of those efforts has been limited, according to the agency.

The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The NIOSH researchers examined newspaper clippings from a 15-year period in 26 cities, sorting them by 1) use of security cameras, 2) use of partitions, and 3) cities without either security intervention, as a control. Cities that installed cameras experienced a homicide rate seven times lower than prior to the cameras' installation.

"We have data that can show us who is at risk for workplace violence, but for taxi drivers there was a gap in knowledge on how effective the security equipment was at keeping them safe," said Dawn Castillo, director of the Division of Safety Research. "This study provides an important piece of that puzzle, helping to increase our understanding of what works in preventing these types of tragic incidents. We hope that this will help cities and taxicab companies in their effort to make the workplace safer for these drivers."

More research is planned to interview cab drivers to further compare the effect of security equipment in preventing more common types of workplace violence they face, such as threats and assaults. To access the complete study, visit http://www.ajpmonline.org/webfiles/images/journals/amepre/3793-stamped-061113.pdf.

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