Zany Antics

Okay, so the City of Ottawa decided that all 1100 Ottawa taxis had to have security cameras installed by August 2nd or they’d lose their license.

 Cabbies were totally pissed off with this plan, because:

 a) because they figured a camera wasn’t going to protect them from violent or drunk passengers and would much rather have had something useful like a protective shield between the front and back seats; and,

 b) because the cabbies themselves had to cough up a good portion of the $1200 for cameras though some of that was recovered with a temporary fare surcharge.

Nevertheless, all but 100 cabbies have so far complied with the regulation.

Sure enough the other day a cabbie got robbed at knife-point by five hooligans. Imagine the ensuing shock and awe over the not-so-good deterrent qualities of the camera!

But, it’s okay because now we have the robbers on film, right and we can just look around until we see them and then go round them up, right?

Except…except… and here’s where it gets really hilarious… the police don’t have the software needed to actually view the tapes! Ha ha ha ha ha.

Ooops! They expect to get this “glitch” sorted out in the next week or so.

Oh man, Ottawa’s a fun place.

According to statistics from other cities, cameras in cabs ended up reducing crimes against cabbies in the long run. So, who knows?  

I think I might feel a bit better about taking an Ottawa cab now, anyway, because sometimes there’s a bit of crazy shit flowing from the front seat to the back as well as the other way around.

12 responses to “Zany Antics

  1. Pretty ridiculous indeed. Reminds me of the new law in Egypt that every microbus (there are TONS there. More than there are “real” public transportation buses) now has to have a first aid kit. Means nothing really, except taht all of these guys now have to pay for first aid kits, and some friend of the government (quite possibly the son of a minister or something) now has a company selling first aid kits. If I were betting, I’d bet on it.

  2. With the price of gas, and now security cameras, I seriously doubt I’ll ever be able to afford to take a cab anywhere for the rest of my lifetime.

  3. Noha – Ya, I think someone convinced Mayor Larry that these would make Ottawa cabs look cosmopolitan or something. I’d be a lot more impressed if the cabbies actually had some idea of where stuff was in the city. I swear on a stack on pancakes that everytime I get into a cab the cabbie asks me for directions to the place I’m going. Which isn’t too bad now that I sort of know my way around, but really sucked when I first moved here.

    JB – You’re much better off, believe me.

  4. They will get this minor “glitch” worked out as soon as the cabbies fork over the rest of the dough to pay for this onnnnne last thing.

    Oh yeah and a little bit more to pay for the salary of the poor schlub whose job it will be to VIEW the tapes.

    Oh, and tapes get old, so they’ll need to be ponying up the coin for the replacements.

    Safety first!!

  5. Good, so the next time my cabbie is reading his newspaper and driving he’ll be on film. I take a lot of cabs to meetings downtown, and some of those dudes are downright scary. HELLO! It’s your job to drive. Drive! Not talk on your cell phone, or read the newspaper.

    Oh, or do the cameras only capture the back seat?

  6. First aid kits on minibuses in Egypt, eh, Noha? Maybe that idea will catch on in Cuba, on chartered catamarans.
    When I was in Varadero and on the catamaran (probably the highlight of my visit because we got to go swimming with dolphins), I fell and cut my knee while getting back onboard after snorkelling. There was no first aid kit on board, but one of the crew members poured rum on the cut, to prevent infection.
    Kind of a waste of good rum, but at least I still have the leg.

  7. Lesley – I don’t know — statistics seem to indicate that caB cameras are useful in other cities. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Jobthingy – Ya, it’s pretty goofy, but the assure everyone that the “evidence” will still be there once they get the software in place to review it. (But will the crooks???)

    UP – Amen! I hate taking cabs in this city. None of them know they way around; they’re ALWAYS on their cells phones; they drive worse than me, and that’s saying something; they’re rude and don’t seem to understand anything you say to them – like “could you PLEASE roll up your windows? My laptop just blew out the window” And, yes, I think the cameras pick up stuff from the front seat, too — which was another reason cabbies were upset at the idea of installing them.

    Bob – A peg leg would have given you no end of street cred. You should have let it fester and opted for the amputation. You would have looked dangerous and pirate-like. Now you’re just an old guy with a boo-boo

  8. no doubt! they will be long gone. i dispatched for Capital for a while and i know alot of the drivers still. ill have to go have a chuckle with them about it next i go by the local rest spot.

  9. Dr, Monkey – Bureaucracy is more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

    Jobthingy – They’re probably laughing about it too, if it hadn’t been so expensive for them. It’s the coppers/City of O that are the knee-slappers this time.

    Grandy – That’s OttAwa. More fun to come, I’m sure.