9 in 10 say in-car cameras can protect commuters, drivers: Poll

LTA to consider poll results when reviewing rules on such devices

Nine in 10 people here think inward-facing recording devices in vehicles help protect commuters and drivers from inappropriate or violent behaviour, an online survey commissioned by national feedback and engagement unit Reach showed.

The same proportion of people said the videos recorded should have sound, which could be useful for enforcement action to be taken.

Six in 10 said taxis, private-hire cars and limousines should be allowed to have such in-car cameras.

The survey polled 1,000 Singapore residents aged above 15 in March to gauge public sentiment on using these devices in vehicles.

Inward-facing cameras can be installed in taxis, private-hire cars and limousines, provided they meet the Land Transport Authority (LTA) guidelines governing their installation and use.

Since 2015, the National Taxi Association has been lobbying for use of the cameras in cabs to tackle unruly passengers and fare evaders.

According to the Personal Data Protection Commission, people who do not want to be recorded can choose not to use transport services that have these cameras.

Transport service firms and drivers must abide by the Personal Data Protection Act and have adequate security measures to protect consumers' personal data, or risk fines of up to $1 million.

 
 
 

Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said on Facebook yesterday that the LTA would be taking the poll results into consideration when reviewing regulations on inward-facing in-vehicle recording devices in the coming months.

"Vehicle owners must obtain LTA's approval to install (these devices), which can be carried out only at LTA-authorised installation centres," he added.

"Only authorised data controllers such as government agencies and operators will be allowed access to support investigations and enforcement efforts."

In-car cameras have been in the spotlight recently following a number of incidents.

In February, a heated exchange between a Gojek driver and his passenger was recorded on his in-car camera. The passenger claimed the driver was trying to kidnap her. The LTA later issued a warning to the driver over the recording.

Then in March, a police report was made regarding in-vehicle videos taken of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's son, Mr Li Yipeng, who was offered a ride in a private car driven by a 31-year-old Singaporean man. Police said the videos were taken without Mr Li's knowledge or permission.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2019, with the headline '9 in 10 say in-car cameras can protect commuters, drivers: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe