Taxis operating in larger centres will be fitted with security cameras from August next year, the Government confirmed today.

It has been considering the move for months and Transport Minister Steven Joyce said today it had become a necessity.

"Since December 2008 there have been a number of serious attacks on taxi drivers. Two of these resulted in deaths," he said.

"While there is no measure that can make drivers entirely safe, evidence and overseas experience show these measures can seriously reduce the risks."

Mr Joyce said the new regulations would also ensure taxi drivers had round-the-clock communications support.

The requirements cover taxis operating in towns currently serviced by more than 30 taxis.

Mr Joyce said the original intention was to put the figure at 20 but that had been changed after consultation.

"It means taxis in Blenheim and Timaru will not be required to comply as would have been the case," he said.

The rules come into force on February 1.

Taxi organisations have until August 1 to install the cameras and have them operating.

Those that already have security cameras fitted will be able to operate with them until February 1 2012, and by that date they will have to have been approved by the Transport Agency or replaced with systems that have been approved.

- NZPA