Whether you’re a businessman, student, or just a regular passerby, we’ve all encountered and relied on taxis. They’re the go-to when you’re running late or feeling a bit lazy to drive.
These vehicles have been shuttling people around for nearly centuries, offering a convenient and customer-friendly public transportation service. Their familiar presence on the streets has made them a beloved sight.
Taxis vary in shape, size, and color, ranging from regular cars to limousines. While traditional cabs are often yellow, others sport three or more colors.
The services offered by taxis are also quite extensive and continually evolving.
But how much do you really know about taxis and their drivers? Read on to discover some interesting facts about the taxi industry that you probably didn’t know!
Table of Contents
1: Under CCTV Recording
More taxis and private hire vehicles are adopting CCTV systems, seen by many as an extra security measure for both drivers and passengers.
Some local authorities make these installations mandatory. However, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has expressed worries about continuous recording of drivers, deeming it intrusive and subject to stringent data protection and human rights laws.
The ICO asserts that continuous recording is unlawful, stressing that the use of CCTV should be necessary and proportionate. For instance, the camera should be active when transporting passengers but turned off when the driver is off duty.
2: The Law of Child Car Seat
For most cases, children up to the age of 3 must use a child car seat while traveling in a vehicle. However, the rules differ in a taxi if the driver can’t provide the correct child car seat.
In this scenario, children under 3 can travel on the rear seat without a seatbelt next to an adult. This is considered safer than holding them in case of an accident or emergency stop.
Remember to deactivate any front airbags before installing a rear-facing baby seat in the front seat, and avoid fitting child car seats to side-facing seats.
For more information and guidance on choosing the right car seat and general safety advice for traveling with children, visit the Child Car Seats website.
3: The “No-Seabelt” Rule
To clarify, in most cases, all vehicle passengers must wear seatbelts while traveling. However, this rule doesn’t apply to taxi drivers.
Taxi drivers often carry cash from fares, and the exemption is in place to prevent drivers from being restrained by seatbelts in case of an attack. Modern taxis with built-in screens help isolate passengers from drivers, reducing the risk of such assaults.
This exemption also facilitates the driver’s movement in and out of the vehicle to assist passengers with luggage or entry and exit.
4: Drinking and Smoking in Taxis
A taxi ride is meant to be a safe and calm environment with mutual respect between the driver and passenger. Some drivers choose not to allow food and drink consumption in their vehicles to prevent upholstery damage, based on their discretion.
While it’s not illegal for an adult passenger to have an alcoholic drink in a taxi, individual drivers can decide what’s allowed in their vehicles. Many drivers are self-employed, and when you step into their cab, you’re essentially entering their shop.
Smoking has been prohibited in enclosed public spaces and workplaces in the UK since 2007, extending to taxis and private hire vehicles.
This ban applies whether the driver is carrying passengers or if the vehicle is empty.
As per a provider of crew transportation services in Singapore, the law cover e-cigarettes, and those found violating it whether drivers or passengers, can face fines of up to £200.
5: The Massive Industry
Despite the challenges it faces, the taxi industry remains a significant player on the roads, particularly in comparison to ridesharing services.
Market Watch reports that the global taxi business is valued at around $108 billion, surpassing Uber’s $76 billion. This indicates that, despite the rise of new transportation options, the taxi industry is still thriving.
Bonus: Don’t Ever Shout “Taxi!”
One surprising fact on this list is that it’s technically illegal to hail a cab by shouting “taxi.” It is because it can distract the driver and pose a risk of accidents. Instead, it’s much safer and more legal to raise your hand to signal that you need a ride.
Were these facts surprising to you? Share this post with friends and family to spread the fun!