September 24, 2004
Taxi company refuses to ban intoxicated passengers
Taxis Palmerston North Limited will continue to carry female customers who appear intoxicated, despite other local cab
companies now banning these passengers.
Manager, Cheryl Nixon, says her drivers will continue to provide a full and professional taxi service to all hirers.
"We are a professional public service provider. We are not about to start judging and banning whole groups of people
based on the actions of a few.
"Also it is safer for female passengers who may be intoxicated if we do carry them. The alternative is to leave them,
perhaps alone on the streets at night."
At least two Palmerston North taxi companies are now refusing to accept female passengers who appear intoxicated. The
ban was imposed after several taxi drivers were accused of assault by drunken female passengers.
"As a Taxi Federation member we are extremely conscious of professional standards and we have an excellent rapport with
"We train our drivers particularly carefully about best practice customer service, and about the risks they face from
assault and robbery by passengers.
"We rely on our recruitment policies and our training to ensure we have the most reliable, sensible and responsible
people possible behind the wheel."
Ms Nixon says Taxis Palmerston North employs five female drivers who also work on weekends and at nights. Requests for
female drivers are increasing, she says.
"We advise all female passengers to sit in the back seat, and to note the driver's name and vehicle number. That way we
can follow-up any allegations of unprofessional behaviour.
"Even if you're just vaguely uncomfortable with, or nervous about, a driver's behaviour, contact our dispatchers and let
"Having a record of these calls alerts us to potential problems and allows us to take the necessary preventative action
to protect customers."