The public are being asked for their views on the proposals which could improve driver and passenger safety
CCTV could become mandatory in all taxis in South Cambridgeshire to deter “would-be trouble makers”.
Under council proposals professionally installed equipment would be a new condition for taxi driver licences.
South Cambridgeshire District Council says all vehicles must be fitted with an approved system no later than March 31, 2020.
The council is currently inviting views on its new licensing plans which include stricter criminal background checks and a new knowledge test for drivers.
Drivers will also face more frequent medical tests, the introduction of safeguarding training, while Hackney Carriages must be made fully wheelchair accessible.
Under the new rules drivers, proprietors and operators would need to notify the council of CCTV camera installations.
These would have to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and comply with data protection laws and CCTV codes of practice.
The consultation documents states: “The installation of CCTV in licensed vehicles can be both a deterrent to would-be trouble makers and a source of evidence in the case of disputes between drivers and passengers, other incidents and accidents.
“If fitted correctly, it can assist the police and insurance companies with their investigations.”
Council officers insist the technology should not be used to “record conversations of the travelling public” and that the footage may only be accessed by the police or the council.
A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire police said the force could not comment on a consultation while it was ongoing.
“We wouldn’t want to add weight to either side of the argument,” she said.
In Cambridge, members of the city council’s licensing committee recently unanimously resolved to require CCTV in its licensed taxis, as long as it was locked and only accessed by the licensing authority and police.
An implementation date will be set out in a report to be brought to the committee in March 2018.
But in an October, a meeting of the committee members of the Cambs Taxi Driver Association warned that some drivers on minimum wage could not afford the cost to install CCTV.
The proposals come after Cambridge taxi drivers were attacked in a night of violence in September.
The incident took place in the city’s Market Square where a number of taxi drivers were assaulted, and damage was caused to their vehicles.
Responding to the suggested licensing changes, Paul Bradley, vice chairman of the Cambridge Hackney & Private Hire Association, said: “This is very welcome news to us in the city as the majority of private hire working in Cambridge are South Cambs licensed and as such will bring them up to the high standards set by the city.
“This is now going make travelling in Cambridge by taxi and private hire even safer for the passenger and driver.”
Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has been a leading campaigner on improving safety for taxi services.
He said: “I would strongly encourage areas to raise standards. I think CCTV does improve safety and confidence. I’m pleased to see that the standards being set between the two authorities is coming closer.
“Taxis legislation is very complicated. Its evolved over the years and hasn’t kept pace with changing technology.
“Standards are being pushed up, which is what we want to see.”
Mr Zeichner recognised the need for “robust” data protection laws and emphasised passenger safety should be a priority.
The Cambridge MP has introduced a private members’ bill to Parliament that he hopes will streamline taxi licensing across the country without undermining councils’ ability to set local rules.
Mr Zeichner criticised the situation where a driver who would not qualify for a licence in Cambridge but could still operate in the city with a license secured in another area.
He said: “We’ve been seeing drivers coming from other parts of the country where the standards are low.”
Cllr Alex Riley, chairman of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s licensing committee, said: “We’ve thrown down the gauntlet to the taxi industry and passengers on this policy and really want to hear what they have to say.
“The draft we are consulting on has set a very high bar, including the use of technology to make sure both drivers and taxi users feel safe and reassured.
“Once the consultation closes we will assess what everyone has said and then the committee will meet again to finalise the policy we set.”