A secure CCTV system will be installed in new taxis of a group after a one-month trial proved effective in mitigating disputes, but costs will be incurred if passengers want to review their videos. The Association of Taxi Industry Development, formed last month by taxi firm owners and involving 5,000 taxis, had cameras in at least 20 cabs since late September to address customer complaints. The grouses include poor attitude and misconduct of drivers such as overcharging, taking unnecessarily long routes and refusing passengers. Five things we hate about taking a Hong Kong taxi “So far feedback has proven that the trial surveillance scheme was effective. Passengers did not reject it and the government has been quite positive about it,’’ association member Francis Li Chiu-fan said. The association has not received a single complaint about drivers since the system’s launch. The trial was also introduced as an effort to urge the government to shelf its proposed premium taxi scheme to introduce 600 high-end cabs – a move the association believes, could harm their business. “We are now introducing new cameras so that we can prove to the public that ultimately the government should make it mandatory to have CCTV installed in all taxis,’’ Li said. Prior to the trial, concerns were raised as to whether passengers’ privacy would be compromised should the recorded data fall into the wrong hands. The cameras will each carry a unique serial number and seal that has to be peeled off before footage in the unit can be accessed. This is to deter drivers from accessing the video without the association’s approval. “Passengers also do not need to worry about drivers deleting anything that is unfavourable to them,” spokesman of the association, Chan Man-keung, said. End of the road: Uber to halt taxi and van services in Hong Kong The CCTV data will only be accessed when requested by police or for investigations; or upon passengers’ request with an administration charge of at least HK$300 and the compensated hourly pay of the particular taxi driver. Michael Tien Puk-sun, chairman of the transport panel at the last Legislative Council term, recommended passengers with any grievances to approach the transport complaints unit that is responsible for taxi complaints, if the taxi they took was equipped with CCTV. “In the past, it was difficult for the government to investigate complaints because of little evidence. But with more taxis with CCTV in town, passengers can make a stronger case,” Tien said. The new camera will be installed in every new vehicle under the association when old ones have to be replaced. The taxi owners of the association will be paying for the camera – at the cost of about HK$2,000 each – and this will not be shifted to frontline taxi drivers who rent the vehicle. The association is expecting about 2,000 new vehicles – including those not under them – to enter the market in a years’ time.