Taxis to have shield after Indian origin driver’s killing

Saturday, May 22, 2010

AUCKLAND - A protective shield has been designed to separate taxi drivers from passengers in New Zealand after an Indian-origin driver was fatally stabbed here.

Perspex manufacturer Karl Cochrane made the shield that can be fitted around a taxi driver’s seat.

Cochrane designed the shield after the Jan 31 assault on Auckland taxi driver Hiren Mohini, 39, in Mt Eden.

“A shield would not prevent all attacks, but it would buy a taxi driver a bit of time if a passenger was behaving in a threatening manner,” New Zealand Herald quoted Cochrane as saying.

“In three or four attacks I know of, the driver hasn’t been able to get out of the car.”

Sukhwinder Singh, Tauranga Mount Taxis Society chairman, said that if a taxi had a surveillance camera and a shield, it would make attacks nearly impossible.

Tony Singh, a taxi driver, was one of the first to buy the special shield. Two of his friends, Mohinder Singh and Dev Sangha, were assaulted in their taxis in March. Mohinder Singh suffered severe facial injuries after he was hit on the head and dragged along a road by a passenger who refused to pay his fare.

As many as 10 drivers from the Tauranga Mount Taxi company have been assaulted in the past two years.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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