Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Guide Dogs Not Allowed In Taxis With Their Owners

13 Oct 2009This blog is about blind passengers who are refused entry into a cab because they are accompanied by guide dogs.

I have read many articles on this issue, I stumbled across this one whilst researching for my blog, it’s a few years old but I think it still happens. To read the original article, go to http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21785791-421,00.html.

It says that passengers have been denied access into a cab because they had a guide dog with them and the cab drivers were claiming that it is against their religion - (for example; Muslim’s believe that dogs are unclean), claims were also made that the drivers were ‘afraid’ of dogs or they had allergies and couldn’t allow the passengers on. Another claim was made that a gentleman was told to go to a non-existent taxi in front of the one he was at, while he was walking to the invisible taxi, the original driver sped off.

It makes my blood boil that this can happen in today’s society. Surely, regardless of religion or beliefs, taxi drivers are told that it is illegal to discriminate against a blind passenger or any disabled passenger. I know I have been driven away from when I’ve tried to catch a taxi, on my own and with friends.

They say you can report drivers for refusing to take you on board, but what about blind people? How are they supposed to get the number plate details? I personally don’t like taking taxi’s anywhere, if you order a wheelchair one, you usually have to wait half an hour longer, and if you don’t, you run the risk of not being able to get a lift anywhere.

Sometimes, I haven’t even had a chance to write down a number plate or get the driver id number, I’ve had incidences where they’ve been pulling in to the footpath, then have sped off once they’ve realised I was in a wheelchair.

There should be bigger fines for cab drivers refusing to take disabled passengers, and those who are ignorant to the laws should be briefed accordingly and warned that it’s not on in our country to discriminate on grounds of disability.

If we’re going to start discriminating, how about the taxi drivers who can’t speak English or don’t know where major city streets or landmarks are? Or those who have offensive odours? You know what I’m talking about, we’ve all been in a taxi with someone who doesn’t appear to know how to use deodorant.

Has anyone had any similar problems whilst catching taxis? I’d like to hear your stories, disability discrimination or otherwise.


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