City cracks down on bad behavior in Calgary cabs
A video showing a passenger in a taxi verbally abusing the driver has been released and Calgary cab drivers say they are fed up with the abuse and mistreatment from some passengers.
The city is trying to change attitudes in Calgary cabs and will soon be posting a passenger and driver bill of rights in all taxis.
The city’s taxi regulator released a dash-cam video of a 2013 incident that shows a backseat passenger verbally abusing a Checker cab driver.
During the three minute video the driver is subjected to a number of insults and racist remarks.
“Releasing it, our intentions are simply to gather awareness for all citizens that use this service that these behaviors do exist unfortunately, I think that’s an extreme, we do have situations that were nowhere near that extreme but it doesn’t make it acceptable for a moment and that factors in the bill of rights. Passengers do have the responsibility to be a good passenger and in that any form of disrespect or poor behavior or over intoxication, our drivers have the right to refuse that service,” said Mark Halet, Manager and Chief Licence Officer for the City of Calgary.
After the incident, the driver filed a complaint with the RCMP and the case was recently reopened.
“We’ve recently learned that the victim in this case was not satisfied with the investigation so as a result of that new information we have taken on reviewing the case,” said RCMP Cpl. Sharon Franks.
Police say it’s too soon to say if any charges will be laid against the customer.
“During the course of the investigation, we will follow the evidence and at the conclusion of that, we will be consulting with the Crown Prosecutors Office as to whether or not charges will be laid and what those charges could be,” said Franks.
CTV News has learned that the passenger worked for Alcro Electric in Airdrie and the company issued a statement on its website saying…
At Alcro Electric we would like to acknowledge the public’s concern. We do not condone such behaviour and we believe in accountability. All people need to be treated with respect and dignity. This incident is not a representation of Alcro Electric. The employee involved is no longer with Alcro Electric.
Taxi drivers in the city say this is an extreme case but many admit they have been the target of similar attacks while on the job.
“One time some guy, he even spit in my face. I didn’t say nothing you know,” said driver Syed Ali.
The rules are not new but they will now be put on display in all Calgary cabs starting on September 1st.
Respect the Ride ~ Passenger and Driver Bill of Rights
A passenger has the right to:
- A licensed driver, in accordance to the Livery Transport Bylaw 6M2007
- Travel with a guide dog or service animal and/or portable mobility aid
- Ride in a clean, safe, comfortable and smoke-free vehicle
- Direct the route, or expect the most economical route
- Request curb side assistance with personal items at no extra charge, provided request is reasonable
- View the metered fare
A passenger is required to:
- Pay the required fare
- Wear a seat belt
- Not smoke or consume alcohol
- Not be disorderly or abusive to the driver
A driver has the right to:
- Refuse or terminate a trip when passengers are disorderly or abusive, including as a result of impairment by alcohol or drugs
- Refuse to carry animals, with the exception of guide dogs or service animals
- Require a deposit of up to $30 towards the total cost of the fare
- Refuse to carry more passengers or baggage than the vehicle can safely and legally accommodate
- Charge a cleaning fee of $100 if a passenger soils the cab
A driver is required to:
- Display his or her taxi drivers licence so that it is clearly visible
- Be professional and courteous
- Accept all trips regardless of the trip length
- Accept all valid forms of payment as advertised on the taxi
- Know the major routes and destinations in the city of Calgary
- Obey all traffic safety laws
- Not use a cell phone while passengers are in the taxi and comply with provincial Distracted Driver legislation
- Provide a printed receipt upon requesting a deposit and at the end of the trip
There were more than 1300 criminal incidents in taxis between 2007 and 2013 and of those 400 were violent crimes.
(With files from Ina Sidhu)