Cameras For SD Taxi Cabs Under Consideration

Cameras Would Allow Drivers To Monitor Passengers

A proposal to help protect San Diego taxi cab drivers is being pushed in light of incidents of violence against them.

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Savitar Sahou's father, Mir Sadat Sahou, was fatally shot last September on a La Jolla street by a passenger. One month later, a second cab driver was killed in La Mesa.

"I can't bring my dad back," Savitar Sahou said. "Perhaps with pushing the idea of enforcing cameras, and having something pass, I feel as if his death would not go in vain."

"A human being was murdered, and his case was the last straw," said San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who was also a cab driver.

Cab driver Alan Becker said, "We're really concerned, and that's our biggest nightmare actually. It will be much better if they put the cameras."

The Metropolitan Transit System is looking at the possibility of adding a camera to the dashboard of each city cab. That way, a cab driver could know who his or her passengers were every time they stepped inside the vehicle.

There are currently 1,000 cabs in San Diego, and the estimated cost of each camera would be between $250 and $500. The cab companies would be responsible for outfitting each cab with a camera, 10News learned.

"It's worth it, actually, for the safety of our drivers," Becker said.

City officials are currently looking into all the legal issues regarding the cameras, such as whether or not they should be allowed to record audio.

However, Sahou said having the cameras there, with or without audio, is still a success.

"Once they see the sign that says cameras enforced, they will think twice about beating the driver, pulling the driver, wanting to take the money, running out of the car or pulling the trigger," she said.

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