There is no doubt that law enforcement is a dangerous career. There is one career that puts individuals at a risk that runs a close second. It is the taxi profession.
If you drive a taxi to earn your living, adhering to the rules of safety can help minimize your chances of being a victim of a taxi crime.
Understand emergency procedures
Be sure that you have in place a set of rules for what should be done in different circumstances. Make the time to learn the different trouble call signals. Familiarize yourself with each switch or button that’s on the vehicle you’re driving. Remember, they’re in different places on different vehicles. This is a check that should be done routinely. Keep details of your taxi insurance broker within your vehicle for emergency advice or help.
Be extra vigilant late at night
It’s well-known that hours that present the greatest risk to you as a private hire driver are between 6pm and 6am, with a particular emphasis on the wee hours between midnight and 4am. Statistics will show that most robberies and assaults take place in these late-night hours. There are fewer people around to witness things, and the bad guys know it.
Never under any circumstance drive into back lanes or alleys
There it is but we’ll say it again. Don’t do this. Tell them that company policy is clear about this and you will lose your job if caught. There’s a better than average chance they will not have good intentions. They’re trying to get you away from any witnesses and out of sight so they can rob or assault you. If you absolutely have to do this, then back in. Never under any circumstances get out of your taxi. If need be, use the push button control to open the trunk. Keep your vehicle in drive, and keep your foot on the brake. In the event things should begin to go bad, simply step on the gas and get out of there. I know you’re thinking “What about the trunk?” After you’ve gotten a safe distance, stop, get out, and close it.
Stay with your taxi
In the unfortunate event that someone decides to run off without paying their fare, always stay with your private hire vehicle. Chances are good that you won’t be able to catch them and subsequently make them pay up. It’s just not going to happen. If you choose to leave, it puts both you and your cab in a very vulnerable position. When you stay with the taxi you can, at the very least, call for assistance.
Keep calm and don’t panic
Sure, it’s easy to say. Staying as calm as possible is crucial. It’s ok to be afraid, we’ve all been there. At times like this call on your inner-most resources to help you keep control. Say things to yourself like… “My family is waiting for me at home, I will get out of this no problem.” Thinking of your family at times like these will build courage and inner strength and guide you in tempering your actions.