‘It’s fear’: Halifax taxi driver speaks out about risks that come with the job – Halifax

‘It’s fear’: Halifax taxi driver speaks out about risks that come with the job – Halifax

in Mar 01, 2019


Many discussions surrounding an in-depth review of the taxi industry in the Halifax Regional Municipality have focused on gaps in passenger safety, but driver safety is also an issue in the region.

“We’ve had many incidents where drivers have been assaulted and so we looked at a number of different options,” said Tony Mancini, deputy mayor of the municipality.

“Cameras were discussed, a partition between the driver and the passenger was discussed.”

This week, a taxi driver was allegedly robbed at gunpoint by his passenger.

The driver didn’t sustain any injuries but the incident points to the results of a recent taxi and limousine industry review that was conducted by Ontario-based company, Hara Associates Inc.

The lengthy review cost the municipality $56,800 and resulted in several recommendations for city staff to consider and was put forward to regional council.

READ MORE: Taxi driver robbed at gunpoint in Dartmouth

“The consultants suggested cameras and staff disagreed. The main reason behind that was the storage of data,” Mancini said.

City staff also didn’t recommend the mandatory installation of cameras because research found problems accessing camera files and the ability for the equipment to be tampered with.

The review from the consultant highlighted the fact that taxi driving is considered to be a dangerous occupation,with the risk of assault and occasionally even death.

READ MORE: Halifax Regional Municipality inches closer to major taxi changes

Studies used in the review show that violent incidents against drivers have been significantly reduced when cameras are present and the equipment is mandatory in many Canadian cities, but not in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

One Halifax driver with a decade of driving experience says he often feels “nervous” during late night calls.

“When you take the passenger, it’s very late,” said Fazlkhoda Fethmohkmmad.

Those late night fares often take drivers to far away places they don’t know very well, he said.

“You’re afraid, it’s fear,” Fethmohkmmad said.

Currently, there is no financial assistance from the municipality to help assist drivers with the installation of cameras or a partition, so those costs fall on the shoulders of drivers.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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