Security Camera Systems
In NSW, taxis that ply or stand for hire (rank and hail) must be fitted with an approved security camera system in accordance with clause 18 of the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017 (the Regulation).
Taxi service providers must comply with the specifications stated below and with those specified in the following Transport for NSW documents:
• Taxi Security System Specifications
• Safeguards for the Use of Security Camera Systems
If a taxi does not comply with the approved security camera system specifications, the vehicle must not provide unbooked passenger services (rank and hail).
What type of camera is required?
The taxi’s camera must be impact and shock resistant, enough to tolerate a typical car accident and the vibration experienced during the normal operation of a taxi.
The system must also work within a temperature range of -5°C to +60°C and up to 85% relative humidity.
It is essential that both drivers and vehicle owners make sure the security camera system is operating in the vehicle when the vehicle is plying or standing for hire, i.e. conducting rank and hail work.
The camera system must be powered and fully operational when the vehicle ignition is on or when the taxi is available for hire (for example at a taxi rank) and the ignition is not otherwise on.
The camera system must have a visual indicator showing the driver when the camera is working or not working.
The driver must be able to see the indicator light when seated in the normal driving position.
What privacy measures are needed?
The purpose of a taxi’s security camera system is to record incidents in taxis for investigative purposes only - footage of everyday passenger trips are not viewed or retained by any person.
The internal camera must be visible to all passengers in the vehicle. Also, people near the vehicle and inside the vehicle must be informed that they are under video surveillance, so taxis must have signs placed in and outside the taxi telling people that they are being recorded.
How are recordings stored, accessed and downloaded?
All recordings must be stored in a secure manner, i.e. password protected or encrypted. The camera system manufacturer may have a specific process for storage of images which can be used if it fits the specifications.
Images must be able to be recovered following loss of power to the camera system.
Security camera systems must operate at all times while a taxi is being used to provide a rank or hail passenger service. Only an authorised person can download and access images from security camera systems for a specific purpose.
An authorised person is:
• a person authorised by the authorised taxi service provider to access the footage
• a Police Officer or
• an Authorised Officer, appointed by the Point to Point Transport Commissioner, who are also authorised to download images for investigation purposes.
Only an authorised person may turn off or disable any security devices, remove memory and store and access recordings. The security camera’s recordings may be accessed for an authorised purpose such as testing and maintenance of the system or for issuing a penalty notice.
Safeguards must be taken by the service provider to ensure that all recordings are protected against being misplaced or lost or used by an unauthorised person or for an unauthorised purpose.
What record keeping measures are required?
A specified person (taxi service provider or a person designated by the taxi service provider), must ensure that records detailing the actions taken to comply with Safeguards for the Use of Security Camera Systems and the requirements of the point to point transport law are kept.
The type of records include:
• Details of processes and policies showing how you maintain compliance of your security camera system.
• Details of downloads of images/ recordings, for instance:
- Records must include all important details such as the date and time of download, the reason, incident, vehicle and driver details and any details specific to the event.
- If you need to download a camera system recording as a test.
• How images are disposed and details of when they have been disposed.
What if my video recordings are needed as evidence?
If the video recording is needed as evidence towards a penalty, the specified person must ensure that images are managed in a way that protects the quality and usability of the evidence. This includes taking steps to fulfil any requests and protocols required by a police officer or an authorised officer.
Exemption until 1 February 2021
The Point to Point Transport Commissioner has exempted taxis that ply or stand for hire (rank and hail) from the requirement to be fitted with an approved security camera system in certain circumstances.
This exemption means taxis that were fitted with a compliant security camera system under the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007 have until 1 February 2021 to comply with specifications outlined in the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 and Regulation.
However, if a taxi vehicle or a security camera system stops working during the period of exemption, the replacement must be an approved security camera system under clause 18 of the Regulation.