Safety tips for new taxi drivers in Tampa Bay, Florida and not only........
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TAXICAB DRIVER SAFETY
by Gord Barton
- Taxi Training Instructor
GOAL:To maximize personal safety for taxicab drivers
To ensure that all new and veteran taxi drivers fully understand and comprehend the basic safety rules that they need to follow and embrace.
- Understanding the inherent dangerous nature of the industry
- Understanding the nature and personalities of people.
- Learning to "read" your customer.
- Learning and understanding the basic safety rules.
- Police relations.
- Weapons - the none use of and why.
- Prostitution - your legal guidelines
- Needles - the extreme danger of drugs/disease
- Hostility and negativism
- You and your part.
Foreword:It is extremely important that all taxi drivers, especially those of you that are new to the business, to understand the dangerous and complex nature of the industry itself, to understand some of the dynamics, to learn how not to become a victim.
Module 1: The danger of the industryThe taxicab business is a very different one from most occupations, and there is a very real and high risk of personal danger to each driver, and it appears to be getting steadily worse each year, and the statistics bear this out.
The last report on workplace violence and homicide places TAXI DRIVERS in the unenviable spot of #1 most dangerous occupation in North America at the present time, and this danger is rising. There are 20 homicides where taxi drivers are victims to every 100,000 drivers. Convenience store clerks are #2, being out 15 homicides to each 100,000 workers. In contrast, the police ratio is only 7 homicides to each 100,000 officers. This alone should tell you something.
The reasons for this are actually very simple in nature, seemingly unrealistic, but they are true, and they are as follows:
- You work alone
- You work all types of long, 12 hour shifts
- You work in isolated areas.
- You always have ready cash
- People perceive that you have the lowliest job of all, and therefor you are of no human value.
- You are always dealing with strangers.
- The very nature of your business, service, requires you to deal with everyone.
- Very often, you have a language barrier, which is difficult to deal with.
- Your own peers often cheat the public, thus raising disrespect and contempt
- Racism plays a factor
Module 2: Understanding the nature and personalities of people
- No two people are the same, in body, or in mind.
- Some people are psychopaths with no emotions, feelings, or remorse.
- Most people you deal with are nice, but we all have our bad days
- People judge other people by their own values, with little regard for reality
Module 3: Learning how to "read" your customer
- You must read up on and become familiar with "body language". This goes hand in hand with "active listening" to what the people are really saying versus what their "body language" is telling you.
- You must never, ever, underestimate your customer and what they may be capable of doing to you.
- You must never let your guard down when you have a fare in your taxi, irregardless of who they are, or how they are dressed or appear to be.
Module 4: Learning and understanding the basic safety rules.1) Radio and the dispatcher
- The most important piece of equipment in your taxi is your radio, as it connects you to your dispatcher. The dispatcher is "your lifeline".
- They are the ones who will get you help if you are in trouble.
- They are the ones who will give you accurate information when you need it.
- They are the ones who will "sense" when you are in trouble and assist you.
- They are the ones who will dispatch you for trips in a fair and equitable manner with all the other drivers.
- They are the ones which will keep you informed on what is happening.
- Have a good relationship with all dispatchers - you need them on your side.
- 2) Be alert and aware.