January 19, 2017 1:36 pm
Updated: January 19, 2017 2:07 pm

Montreal taxis to be equipped with surveillance cameras, GPS trackers and panic buttons

WATCH ABOVE: New surveillance cameras, GPS trackers and panic buttons will be installed in Montreal cabs by the end of 2017. Global's Kelly Greig reports.


In the 35 years Juanna Albando has been a taxi driver, she can recall just one time she felt unsafe.

“Suddenly, I heard a click,” she told Global News.

“Two men put the knife at my neck and my head in the seat. Instantly, I said ‘listen, leave me alone, I’m a single woman with three kids, if you need money just take it.'”

She got away without a scratch.

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READ MORE: Taxi driver safety in question after cabbie gunned down in Saint-Leonard

Now, the City of Montreal is introducing new measures to improve safety for both passengers and drivers.

“What’s important is everything [to do with] surveillance cameras, GPS trackers and the panic button,” said executive committee member Aref Salem.

“We’ve introduced a policy to the city and an action plan to the city.”

Salem cites the murder of taxi driver Ziad Bouzid in 2013 as the reason for change.

Last year, cab driver Pierre-Isnard Amy was also killed behind the wheel.

The safety measures still have to pass through city council; the earliest they could be introduce is the end of this year.

READ MORE: Taxi accidents on the rise in Quebec

Taxi drivers Global News spoke to said they don’t feel it’s a top priority.

“Montreal is much safer than other cities in Canada or the U.S.,” said driver Ali Bozoegzad.

“Montreal is great, but still sometimes there’s the wrong people, wrong time, wrong place. It happens.”

There’s no word yet on how much the new measures will cost or who will be paying for them, but cabbies said they can think of better ways to spend the money.

“The potholes, please,” said Albando.

“If they cover the holes, I’m going to be so happy before I die.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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