"Even though the cab companies told they have to follow certain rules, there's no mechanism to follow up to ensure that they do follow those rules," said Bill Kramer, the general manager of Unity Taxi.
Kramer is talking with Evansville City Council members to update an ordinance that pertains to the safety of cab drivers as well as passengers.
"If you have a passenger who is threatening, who is failed to pay their cab fare, who is knowingly participating in illegal activity, we should have the right to turn that down," Kramer said.
According to him, the current city ordinance states cab companies can be fined if they refuse to pick up passengers, even if they don't pay the fair, threaten physical harm, or are participating in illegal activity. He says the ordinance is too vague.
"The problem with this city is we just don't have clear enough direction that protects those passengers or that protects those drivers," Kramer said.
City Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley agrees with making the ordinance more clear.
"If you're sent out to pick up a particular fare and something about what you observe or hear makes you believe that's not safe, then we don't want you do it," Brinkerhoff-Riley said.
While she says safety is important, she also wants to make sure that safety is the main concern, not that cab drivers can refuse service because of discrimination.
"We got to put into place what we can for safety, not just for the driver but also the passenger," Brinkerhoff-Riley said.
Brinkerhoff-Riley says they will meet with cab companies, as well as the Board of Public Safety, to discuss options for a new ordinance in the new year. She says a proposed ordinance could be drafted by the end of February.
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