Author Topic: Multi-tasking taxi driver  (Read 2740 times)

αdαmsκι

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Multi-tasking taxi driver
« on: July 03, 2008, 03:34:51 pm »
Cycling into work this morning I witnesses a taxi driver multi-tasking.  Task #1 was reading The Sun and task #2 was driving. I remembered his licence number and when I got to work sent this of to transport for london complaints office.

Quote
To whom it may concern,

I would like to make you aware of the dangerous actions I was witness to this morning while cycling to work.  I was heading from the northern end of Gower St (WC1E) to University College London when I was overtaken by a black taxi (number *****).  The traffic lights at the pedestrian crossing immediately south of Grafton Way were on red and therefore the taxi and I stopped.  Looking into the taxi I saw the driver had a copy of The Sun newspaper on his lap, which he was reading.  After the traffic lights had turned green we set off down Gower St. and the driver of the taxi seemed to be paying far more attention to the newspaper on his lap then the road in front of him. This is not the sort of practice I expect from any road user, let alone a professional driver.

Regards

I realised there wouldn't be a lot that could happen to the driver due to lack of witnesses, but it annoyed me enough that I felt I had to complain about it.  At least it will now be on the guys record as well.  This is the reply I got back from tfl.

Quote
Thank you for your email dated 03 July 2008 regarding the actions of a licensed taxi driver.

The driver concerned will be made aware of the allegation (your details will not be disclosed) and reminded of his responsibilities under the Highway Code and that the Licensing Authority expects professional drivers to demonstrate a high standard of driving at all times.

I am sorry that you had reason to complain about a licensed taxi driver and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Yours sincerely,
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tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2008, 05:43:47 pm »
About as good a result as you could hope for under the circumstances.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2008, 07:34:31 pm »
Reporting through TfL is useless, and the taxi drivers know it.  Police is the only route.  Of course, the only reason a highly trained driver of a taxi could be driving badly would be if he were drunk. ;)  Suggest that, and the Police get much more interested than if you just mention them nearly killing you or something minor like that...
Getting there...

Zipperhead

  • The cyclist formerly known as Big Helga
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2008, 09:38:29 pm »
We encountered a multi-tasking minicab driver on the way home on Sunday evening. He was driving along and texting on his phone.

Unfortunately he didn't have the brain power to do that and look where the *uck he was going and nearly took one of us out.

Forms duly filled in and handed to the Police.
Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2008, 10:17:59 pm »
Where is the first port of call as far as making a complaint is concerned?
TFL? Public Carriage Office? The Police? Or elsewhere?

I ask this as only the other day, having been overtaken at a traffic island pinch point, by a licensed black taxi at speed, close enough for me to touch his vehicle, I caught up with the vehicle at the next set of lights.
I removed my sunglasses (strategic negotiation move) and politely asked that 'Next time you pass me or another cyclist would you mind leaving a little more room?'
This was met with "Did I hit you?" to which I replied with "No, but if I could touch your vehicle, you were too close".
His response was "Don't f*ck with me, if you touch my car I will kill you".
Followed by (once he had got out of his cab) "I will kill you with one mighty blow" as well as a litany of expletives directed at me.
There were several  witnesses to what I've described above - so for some reason I did not feel enormously threatened - perhaps inadvertently finding it tantamount to comical.

But, and here's the but, - my Mum could've been a passenger in that cab, as could've my good friend Jane with her sub 10 year old kids (whom I love dearly) - being transported around by someone who is essentially a nutter waiting to go off on one.
I really, really, really wasn't being provocative.
I was as polite as it is possible to be.
Where do I lodge my complaint?

Or do I need to go down to Deptford Market and find an AK47? ;)

Sorry if it seems I'm hijacking this thread - it's not intentional.

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 10:24:49 pm »
If they're doing something illegal, the police.  That's the police's job.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Regulator

  • Got a thing for rubber...
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2008, 07:19:38 am »
Funnily enough, as a result of the OP, I counted the 'multitasking' cabbies on my way home from work last night (and back to work and then home again but that's another story).  I saw 16 in the 1 hour of cycling.  7 were reading papers in their laps or perched on their dashboards, 4 were looking at A-Zs and 5 were on a handheld mobile phone.

But the classic one was the cabbie reading a paper as he drove down the Mall who failed to spot the red light in front of him, who made contact with the Bentley... driven by a rather large and now very angry gentleman.   ;D  And he hadn't spotted the police car behind! 

I didn't stop to laugh and point but I did snigger as I went past.  There is a God!
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Gandalf

  • Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2008, 07:49:13 am »
I emailed Epsom And Ewell Council last week about two overtaking incidents with their licenced Hackney carriages as they call them. 

One was a standard shave the other muppet squeezed past me as I was passing a traffic island. 

Nothing finer than sharing the narrow bit of tarmac betwixt kerb and island with a Ford Galaxy.

I didn't even get a reply.

Regulator

  • Got a thing for rubber...
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2008, 09:12:45 am »
If they're doing something illegal, the police.  That's the police's job.


The police will do bugger all I'm afraid - and the cabbies know it.

IMHO there needs to be a proper regulatory body for cabbies in London, with both the powers and the balls to strip cabbies of their badge, which won't kowtow to the Taxi Thugs Mafia Licensed Taxi Driver Association.  The Public Carriage Office is a supine dog, answering to the call of those it is supposed to regulate.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2008, 09:37:23 am »
If they're doing something illegal, the police.  That's the police's job.


The police will do bugger all I'm afraid - and the cabbies know it.

IMHO there needs to be a proper regulatory body for cabbies in London, with both the powers and the balls to strip cabbies of their badge, which won't kowtow to the Taxi Thugs Mafia Licensed Taxi Driver Association.  The Public Carriage Office is a supine dog, answering to the call of those it is supposed to regulate.



what regulator said. I had, in writing, confirmation form the PCO that complaints from anyone other than a fare-paying passenger AREN'T EVEN LOGGED.


I've also heard of passengers getting out of a cab after the cabbie threatened a cyclist. The passengers refused to pay and told the cabbie to xxxx off and stick his bill up his xxxx.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2008, 09:44:40 am »
I've also heard of passengers getting out of a cab after the cabbie threatened a cyclist. The passengers refused to pay and told the cabbie to xxxx off and stick his bill up his xxxx.

I've seen that happen once, but, most often, the passengers will be all English, and sit, embarrassed but saying nothing.
Getting there...

Julian

  • samoture
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2008, 09:50:45 am »
That's happened to me :D

When I first started cycling and I was a bit new and a bit nervous and got in the wrong place in the road, and delayed a taxi driver by a whole few seconds.  He unleashed a torrent of abuse, and I apologised politely for bad road positioning but said I didn't think attempted murder was a particularly good response.  He got a little bit inventive with his Anglo Saxon and his passenger said he didn't feel safe in this guy's car, got out and refused to pay.  ;D  I would have been upset by the whole incident (I don't really do conflict) but that made my day.  ;D

[/oft repeated anecdote]

αdαmsκι

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Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2008, 10:18:47 am »
I'm confused.  I reported this by emailing coms@pco.org.uk, which I assumed was part of TFL but from previous comments it would seem that the PCO & TFL are separate.  I found the coms@pco.org.uk email address on the TFL website, hence my confusion.  I really don't expect anything to come of this, but I didn't see any harm in reporting it, tho if:
I had, in writing, confirmation form the PCO that complaints from anyone other than a fare-paying passenger AREN'T EVEN LOGGED.
really is the case then it would seem I wasted effort. 

Reporting through TfL is useless, and the taxi drivers know it.  Police is the only route.
I didn't bother reporting this to the police because it'd be end up being my word against his.


Where is the first port of call as far as making a complaint is concerned?
TFL? Public Carriage Office? The Police? Or elsewhere?
....
Where do I lodge my complaint?
Why not all of them?  However, you'd need have remembered the registration number or the PCO licence plate number for it to get back to that particular driver.


Funnily enough, as a result of the OP, I counted the 'multitasking' cabbies on my way home from work last night (and back to work and then home again but that's another story).  I saw 16 in the 1 hour of cycling.  7 were reading papers in their laps or perched on their dashboards, 4 were looking at A-Zs and 5 were on a handheld mobile phone.
I've been in The Netherlands for the last few weeks and maybe I've just forgotten what London roads are actually like!

But the classic one was the cabbie reading a paper as he drove down the Mall who failed to spot the red light in front of him, who made contact with the Bentley... driven by a rather large and now very angry gentleman.   ;D  And he hadn't spotted the police car behind!
Great, esp. with the addition of the police car :-)
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
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Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2008, 11:38:20 am »
So there is no point is reporting them to either the PCO or the police.

Hey why don't the CTC, LCC MAG and BMF join to campaign abuot the problem of poor driving standards of taxi drivers?

 

mattc

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Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2008, 11:49:33 am »
So there is no point is reporting them to either the PCO or the police.

Hey why don't the CTC, LCC MAG and BMF join to campaign abuot the problem of poor driving standards of taxi drivers?

 
Are you suggesting that drivers should be persecuted if they use a particular vehicle type? ( i'm guessing the CTC will say something along these lines)

Of course this only affects Londoners so I don't give a .... ;)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2008, 11:57:51 am »
Crap taxi drivers are everywhere.  My last off with a car was a taxi in a hurry not looking right at a roundabout.  In Bristol.

Professional drivers should be held to professional standards.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Regulator

  • Got a thing for rubber...
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2008, 11:58:08 am »
So there is no point is reporting them to either the PCO or the police.

Hey why don't the CTC, LCC MAG and BMF join to campaign abuot the problem of poor driving standards of taxi drivers?

 
Are you suggesting that drivers should be persecuted if they use a particular vehicle type? ( i'm guessing the CTC will say something along these lines)

Of course this only affects Londoners so I don't give a .... ;)


Nobody is suggesting persecution - simply a campaign for proper enforcement of the existing law.

We seem to regularly get clampdowns on errant cyclists (and motorcyclists - they are quite often stopped and checked on the Mall) - I have yet to see a high profile clampdown on any other specific groups of road users in London.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2008, 02:20:49 pm »

Nobody is suggesting persecution - simply a campaign for proper enforcement of the existing law.

We seem to regularly get clampdowns on errant cyclists (and motorcyclists - they are quite often stopped and checked on the Mall) - I have yet to see a high profile clampdown on any other specific groups of road users in London.
Well of course I agree the law should be enforced - the problem is how do you justify a clampdown on specific groups? With the 2-wheeler campaigns my guess is that someone had a (possibly spurious) statistic that, say, X%of cyclists have no lights, or Y% of motorbikes have illegal exhausts or are speeding, or something.

To justify a taxi clampdown I think you need some concrete evidence, or you risk sounding highly prejudiced.

(There is probably an argument here about their responsibility to passengers, but I can't see how you can connect the 2 issues ... )
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2008, 03:40:38 pm »

Nobody is suggesting persecution - simply a campaign for proper enforcement of the existing law.

We seem to regularly get clampdowns on errant cyclists (and motorcyclists - they are quite often stopped and checked on the Mall) - I have yet to see a high profile clampdown on any other specific groups of road users in London.
Well of course I agree the law should be enforced - the problem is how do you justify a clampdown on specific groups? With the 2-wheeler campaigns my guess is that someone had a (possibly spurious) statistic that, say, X%of cyclists have no lights, or Y% of motorbikes have illegal exhausts or are speeding, or something.

To justify a taxi clampdown I think you need some concrete evidence, or you risk sounding highly prejudiced.

(There is probably an argument here about their responsibility to passengers, but I can't see how you can connect the 2 issues ... )

Well we already noted that the driving standards are poor.  Reporting them to the profession body does nothing so why shouldn't we venerable road users complain and want something done about it?

Oh I'll persecute a group at a time.  Next are bus drivers.

redshift

  • High Priestess of wires
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Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2008, 05:53:25 pm »
How about reporting them to H&SE?

Could there be breach of duty care for the health & safety of Non-employees (i.e. passengers, other road users) under Section 3 of H&SAWA '74?  or doesn't that apply to taxis?

Sorry, just completed an IOSH course, so it's still kind of kicking around in my memory.   ;D
L
:)
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Re: Multi-tasking taxi driver
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2008, 06:52:06 pm »



Nobody is suggesting persecution - simply a campaign for proper enforcement of the existing law.

We seem to regularly get clampdowns on errant cyclists (and motorcyclists - they are quite often stopped and checked on the Mall) - I have yet to see a high profile clampdown on any other specific groups of road users in London.
[/quote]

Would I be a bit sceptical thinking that a stopped 2 wheeler does not block a lane, anything else would, so causing more congestion.  oops.   ::-)
Only those that dare to go too far, know how far they can go.   T S Elliot