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Safety tips for taxi drivers

By SYF77 on 17 May 2012

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Recently, a taxi driver passed away after he was involved in an accident with a Ferrari. In fact, other than the risk of getting into accidents, a taxi driver also faces other occupational risks such as robbery and aggressive customer. Not long ago, a taxi driver was thrown out of his cab after he got into a dispute with a passenger at Changi Airport.

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The above incidents prompted me to conduct some research over the internet and I hope to share these safety tips with all the taxi uncles and aunties out there on the road earning a living:

1.) Do not flash or display your money
Do not wear any type of expensive watch, necklaces, or wrist bracelets. If you do, you are providing motivation for the person to rob you. If you must wear a necklace, make sure it is very thin so that it will break before it can strangle you.

If your passenger offers you a large denomination note, advise him that you will take him to get it changed at a nearby store. Do not show him that you have money to change it. On this point, also never tell your customer that you had a good shift.

2.) Be alert and aware
Keep yourself very alert and aware of what is going on around you at all times, whether you are parking or driving. This can be achieved by having sufficient rest, eat well, and getting enough exercise. The windows can be opened slightly to allow fresh air to come in, but not to the extent whereby someone can grab you from the outside. Use defensive driving tactics.

3.) Keep an eye on your passenger
Keep some type of watch over your passengers while they are in your taxi. Maintain eye contact with them as they enter your vehicle. This is to send a signal to them that you can identify them in the event that they do harm to you. Do not let the passenger sit directly behind you if possible because it is your blind spot. Buy a convex rear view mirror that replaces or fits over the regular one. This will allow you 100% back seat visibility. It also sends a message to the customer that you can see them.

4) Know emergency procedures
Each taxi company has in place a set of emergency procedure rules for use in different circumstances. These rules vary from company to company and you must make a sincere effort to learn them. They are not there for the company, but are for you and your personal safety.

5.) Always keep the doors locked
This is very important especially if you are sitting in your cab waiting for the next customer. You do not want someone to come up beside you on foot without you noticing them and jerking open the door and attacking you.

6.) Do not be aggressive or argumentative
This type of behavior may escalate a minor disagreement into a violent confrontation. Stay calm and controlled.

7.) Do not resist a robbery
Just comply with the bad guy. If you resist, you may be injured or even worse, murdered. It is wiser to live to work another day.

8.) Be aware of passengers who give you "vague" instructions
It is of utmost importance that you insist on your customer giving you a fixed destination as to where they are going, before you start driving away. Some customers may say, take me to "whatever" street or give an uncertain destination.

If they are unsure and balk, read this as a sign that you should be very alert to what they are up to. If they tell you to "just start driving - we will tell you the way", this is a classic danger signal to you. Do not move and politely advise them that the "company's policy" requires you to get an exact address. Double check over the radio to confirm the address. This will send the passenger a signal that others know where you are going.

9.) Ensure that the radio is working
The most important piece of equipment in your taxi is your radio, as it connects you to your dispatcher. The dispatcher is your lifeline. They are the ones who will get you help if you are in trouble.

10.) Carry a spare key
It is a good idea to have a spare key for the taxi you drive and carry it in your pocket by itself. Should you be robbed, what will probably happen is that the robbers will rip out your radio mike so you cannot call for help, and may throw your keys away if they do not steal your taxi to make the getaway. They think that by doing this, they are depriving you of your mobility.

Have a safe journey and happy “taxi-ing”.

advice, safety, discussions and 7 more...

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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