Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 is calling for safety-related taxi reforms in Chicago following the recent robberies of two local cab drivers.
The two Chicago cab drivers were robbed at knifepoint by a passenger on the city's far North Side late last month.
"After the brutal murders of our fellow drivers Chinedu Madu and Seneca Richardson last winter, we called on the city to take our safety seriously and take the steps necessary to protect us," Chicago cab driver Cheryl Miller said in a post on AFSCME's website. "Before this outbreak of robberies, our union met earlier this month with the Chicago Police Department and talked at length about requiring the installation of a panic button that drivers could use to alert the authorities that there is an issue, providing our location via GPS to dispatch help quickly, but we're not seeing change fast enough."
Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 would like to see the city implement the following safety reforms:
Larger and more visible signage within the cab that alerts passengers to the criminal penalties for assaulting or robbing a cab driver.
Using existing technology, show passengers they are being recorded by displaying footage from the security camera inside the cab onto the video screen many cabs have in the passenger compartment, providing a similar deterrent as the convenience store that prominently displays security camera footage.
"As cab drivers, we keep our great city moving, day in and day out," Miller stressed. "It's disgraceful that in the face of an epidemic of violence against cab drivers, the city isn't taking our health and well-being seriously."
In December, the Chicago City Council approved a "taxi driver fairness" ordinance that is designed to lift the income of cab drivers without hiking fares.