PSC Rejects Request to Substitute Security Camera for Shield in Baltimore Taxis

by admin on April 12, 2012

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) which regulates Baltimore taxi companies has recently rejected a request by Baltimore Taxi Affiliation LLC which operates Baltimore City Taxi to amend the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) to allow the use of a security camera or partition in taxicabs.

Security cameras were first introduced in the U.S. as a safety feature in taxicabs in the late 1990′s.

COMAR 20.90.02.16L(1) states that, “a Baltimore city taxicab shall be equipped with a partition separating the driver from the backseat passenger compartment.”  The security shield became mandatory in 1995.

Baltimore City Taxi argued that the partitions make the smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles too cramped and uncomfortable for taxicab drivers and security cameras provide just as a strong deterrent against crime.

Disadvantages of Partitions in Taxis
PSC staff stated the following were disadvantages for the use of security shields in taxis.

  • Can be expensive to install.
  • Do not fit well in vehicles that are not purpose-built.
  • Limit interaction between driver and passengers.
  • May interfere with heat and a/c circulation.
  • Can lead to bodily injury during sudden stops to passengers not wearing a seat belt.
  • Restrict leg room for both driver and passengers.

Recent Maryland Airport Ground Transportation News

BWI Airport Plans to Issue New RFP for Taxi Service Contract

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