Taxicabs and Public Safety

cabsSeveral recent incidents have police and regulators focusing on the taxi industry and the need for enforcement of laws already in place to protect pedestrians and the general public. There are an estimated 1,600 taxis in Philadelphia, but some have received blatant violations of federal and city regulations on a daily basis, including at times reckless/careless driving, negligence, and outright discrimination, amongst other issues. Sadly, this has implications for everyone’s welfare.

For example, an 88-year-old woman was recently struck and killed by a taxi driver after he had been working nonstop for 16 hours straight even though regulations place limitations on how many consecutive hours taxi drivers can work. In addition, ABC Action News just did an investigation on whether Philadelphia taxi drivers discriminate against the disabled, and the results were absolutely startling. These incidents (and others) ultimately make us wonder: Do we have proper regulations in place to protect the public when it comes to taxi drivers?

Who Regulates Taxicabs?

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) licenses cab drivers, but relies on lawmakers to pass regulations placing mandates on taxis in order to address the heart of any given issue, including work days that are too long or rules regarding discrimination.

However, the agency is in charge of investigating taxicab-related problems and to ensure that the rules properly govern the regulation of taxis in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania specifically enacted “Act 94” in 2004 so that the PPA could carry the regulatory authority for taxis and limousines. As part of the established Certified Driver’s General Requirements, taxi drivers must respond to calls without discrimination. They also cannot operate a taxi for more than 14 hours in any 24-hour period or more than 84 hours total in a week. Drivers must also meet certain drug and alcohol standards, subject themselves to driver monitoring, comply with specific driver conduct requirements, and abide by other local requirements. As common carriers, taxicabs have a duty to exercise the utmost care to ensure that you, as a passenger, are safe.

Who is Held Responsible for Accidents?

If you have been injured by a taxi cab, there are some instances in which both the driver and taxi cab company should be held liable. For example, if the proximate cause of the accident was failure to keep the taxicab properly maintained, the company itself can also be held liable. Taxicab companies are also required to screen their drivers, do background checks, and provide training which, if not done properly, can place passengers and other Philadelphia citizens in danger.

Solnick & Associates

The Pennsylvania personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Solnick & Associates help those injured and killed in auto accidents and/or due to the negligence of another, including any accidents that involve taxicabs. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident, contact us today for a free consultation.