Emergency button gives driver security

LAWRIE Matthews reckons the security system fitted to his maxi-taxi is a lifesaver.

On Saturday night, the Coffs Harbour cabbie came under attack from an unruly passenger he picked up in Coriedale Drive.

The man had apparently caused trouble at a party and was shoved into the back of the cab to be driven home.

But he rose to hit Lawrie, who tried to get out of the cab.

“As he came at me, he hit my upper arm,” Lawrie said.

“All of the people outside came to my rescue. In the meantime, I hit the emergency button in the vehicle.

“That immediately went to our dispatch room in Coffs Harbour, who can instantly hear everything happening as clear as a bell.

“It also locks in footage already on our infra-red security camera, and it sends a message to every other taxi in the fleet that there's a problem with a car and gives the exact location of the incident.”

Bystanders had by now restrained the man and three taxis arrived at the scene. Police also attended, handcuffed the man and took him away.

“I've been in the game a long time and it's the first time I've hit the button,” Lawrie said.

“I was very pleased with the response of my fellow drivers, and the police, who were extremely happy to have video evidence of the incident.”

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