Taxi drivers in Dublin are increasingly avoiding working at night because the city has “become more violent”, a spokesman for the National Private Hire and Taxi Association has claimed.
Jim Waldron has been a taxi driver in the capital for some time and says he is increasingly concerned about his safety when working:
“Maybe it’s just about old age and people like myself are getting a bit older and you start to think, ‘Is it worth my while going out?’” he mused to Lunchtime Live.
“It might be a little bit more profitable to work at night time but you have to consider your welfare.
“It has become more prevalent and there are things that the Government and the council could do to help the public as much as the drivers and we have said this for a long time; better located taxi ranks, properly lit tax ranks - possibly with CCTV, possibly with marshals so that people know where to go in a taxi rank.”
Mr Waldron also believes that the law treats people who assault taxi drivers too leniently:
“There should also be stiffer penalties for people who assault taxi drivers,” he continued.
“For some reason I don’t believe that courts treat taxi drivers with the same respect in terms of the assaults.
“There’s so many assaults on taxi drivers that they get overlooked for one reason or another.
“It might be ‘He had too much to drink and he apologised to the court and we used the poorbox’.
“But if it was another member of the public transport system, a bus driver maybe, the penalty seems to be stiffer for them.”
Concluding, “We want an example made of people that treat us in a bad way.”
In 2020, restrictions saw the amount of work nosedive and many taxi drivers quit the profession once and for all as a result. It means that the number of taxi drivers in Dublin is thought to be around 30% lower than it was before the pandemic.
Main image: Taxi drivers.