Hiren Mohini Died In "Frenzied Attack", NZ "No Longer Safe For Taxis At Night"

New outlets today are already reporting the results of an autopsy that was carried out on Hiren Mohini, the Indian taxi driver, who was murdered in Auckland early Sunday morning.

One report stated:

“An autopsy yesterday revealed that he died from the stab wound to his chest. Witnesses said he had also suffered wounds to his face and neck. “It was a frenzied attack,” said the police officer heading the homicide inquiry, Detective Senior Sergeant Hywel Jones.”

As we reported yesterday there have been repeated calls for security measures and screens to be fitted to all taxis to reduce the risks of assault and robbery. This was reiterated today:

The killing has spurred the Government to review taxi safety and consider mandatory safety measures.The incident prompted renewed calls by the Taxi Federation for the Government to make safety measures – such as cameras in cabs – mandatory.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce today said taxi safety did need to be looked at again. It had been reviewed in the past after earlier attacks

See our comments yesterday about ‘image’ being more important than driver safety. The report also said

“We’re ending up in a situation where New Zealand isn’t as safe for taxis late at night any more,” he told Radio New Zealand.Mr Joyce said he would meet with taxi industry representatives, the Department of Labour and the NZ Transport Agency to assess what further safety measures need to be implemented.

One of the challenges was having the taxi industry agree on what mandatory measures needed to be taken, he said…”

It may be a challenge but not an insurmountable one. It’s a challenge that other countries have seemed able to cope with, where there is a will there’s a way. Why should it be any different in NZ? Taxi companies have asked for safety improvements before but nothing have ever been done. Is it any wonder when devices such as safety screens in taxis are considered to be a “bad image” for New Zealand’s towns and cities?

One has to question why image is so more important than human life? It’s time to concede that life for taxi drivers, many of whom are migrants, in NZ is unacceptably risky and they need better protection. We predict that despite all the rhetoric from the transport minister the situation for drivers will be exactly the same a year from now. We’d love to be proved wrong

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