Indexed on: 09 May '14Published on: 09 May '14Published in: Crime Science
Driving a taxicab remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, with leading homicide rates. Although safety equipment designed to reduce robberies exists, it is not clear what effect it has on reducing taxicab driver homicides.Taxicab driver homicide crime reports for 1996 through 2010 were collected from 20 of the largest cities (>200,000) in the United States: 7 cities with cameras installed in cabs, 6 cities with partitions installed, and 7 cities with neither cameras nor partitions. Poisson regression modeling using generalized estimating equations provided city taxicab driver homicide rates while accounting for serial correlation and clustering of data within cities. Two separate models were constructed to compare (1) cities with cameras installed in taxicabs versus cities with neither cameras nor partitions and (2) cities with partitions installed in taxicabs versus cities with neither cameras nor partitions. Cities with cameras installed in cabs experienced a significant reduction in homicides after cameras were installed (adjRR = 0.11, CL 0.06-0.24) and compared to cities with neither cameras nor partitions (adjRR = 0.32, CL 0.15-0.67). Cities with partitions installed in taxicabs experienced a reduction in homicides (adjRR = 0.78, CL 0.41-1.47) compared to cities with neither cameras nor partitions, but it was not statistically significant.The findings suggest cameras installed in taxicabs are highly effective in reducing homicides among taxicab drivers. Although not statistically significant, the findings suggest partitions installed in taxicabs may be effective.