Taxi Drivers Become Neighborhood Watch with Government-Provided Cell Phones

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Now here’s an interesting idea. Officials in several cities in Mexico have outfitted the cities’ taxi drivers with government-provided pre-paid cell phones, to be used to provide on-the-spot reporting of incidents such as accidents, fights, and crimes, as well as public hazards such as public lights being out, and water leaks. Dubbed the “Taxista Vigilante” program, by all accounts it is working exceedingly well.

The taxi drivers just have to take a picture and send it via the Grupo Iusacell network, through which the phones are provisioned, and it uses GPS to automatically tag the picture with the location.

Taxi drivers in several Mexican cities have been fitted with equipement enabling them to send pictures and messages to the local police forces when they see incidents that should be reported. The communications are sent over Grupo Iusacell’s 3G network.

In six months, as many as 10,000 reports have been filed by the taxi brigade.

According to reports, the Mexican city of Chiapas, considered one of the safest cities in Mexico, has already deployed more than 5000 of the Grupo Iusacell phones.

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One thought on “Taxi Drivers Become Neighborhood Watch with Government-Provided Cell Phones

  1. That would not work here in Central Arkansas as I can’t even remember the last time I saw a cab. I’d think that that sort of thing would work quite well with regular citizens cell phones though. All it would take would be a little cooperation between the cell companies and local police departments.


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