Melbourne taxi drivers get better safety measures

April 30th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Apr.30 (ANI): Taxi drivers driving on Melbourne streets have got better safety measures following Tuesdays stabbing of an Indian-born taxi driver.
The blockade is now over and tram services have resumed along Flinders and Swanston streets.
Victorian Taxi Directorate chief Peter Corcoran told hundreds of drivers protesting outside Flinders Street Station that mandatory safety screens would be fitted to their vehicles.
Corcoran also outlined further boosts to driver security, including pre-paid fares between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and driver safety training programs.
The safety screen roll-out would take place over the next 12 months, with the Government providing a rebate of up to 50 percent of the cost and the taxi owner the remainder, the Sydney Morning herald reported.
A program for new and existing drivers would help them deal with violent or difficult passengers and a community education campaign would reinforce the worth of cabbies.
Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said she was pleased with the outcome of her meeting with the protesters.
She said the security screens would up to 1200 dollars each and would be rolled out in up to 4000 cabs.
Earlier, around 300 taxi drivers sat at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets, many stripped of their shirts, holding up placards and protesting against violence and abuse of taxi drivers.
The protest started yesterday evening and continued overnight. (ANI)

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