This is an unstable time for those working in the private rental vehicle industry; between gasoline shortages making it harder for taxi drivers to meet their day-to-day quota, and new reports showing that 93% of taxi drivers have experienced racial abuse on the job, a crucial – but often thankless – line of work – continues to discourage new recruits. But with the vast majority of customers a joy to serve, and the demand for taxi rides higher than ever, work remains a lucrative and rewarding prospect. So how can you feel safe at work? Here are five tips to keep you safe on the road.
1. Clean your windows
It may seem like a peculiar first suggestion, but windows free of dirt and condensation allow for an unobstructed view outside and inside. You can monitor arriving customers before they reach your door, and passers-by can also see inside, increasing the chances of intervention in the event of an attempted mugging or theft. For the same reason, it’s a good idea to avoid tinted windows in your taxi.
2. Check the security of your vehicle
You want to be sure that when your car doors are locked there is no chance of picking or forced entry – whether to access goods left in the vehicle overnight or for your own safety during night shifts. If your taxi is old enough to require an entry key, you may want to take a look at newer taxis for salewith immobilizers, alarm systems and upgraded windows.
3. Use a Dashcam
A dashcam is an essential piece of technology for taxi drivers in the 21st century; with over 300 dangerous driving lawsuits per month due to dash cam footage, they have proven to be an invaluable tool in making roads – and taxis – safer. The camera has a deterrent effect on anti-social behavior in the taxi and, in the event of a crime, the images can be used to initiate proceedings.
4. Keep your cash to a minimum
Carrying any amount of cash, whether it’s your float for the day or an entire evening’s fares, makes you a target of theft. In an increasingly cashless society, a simple solution for the private taxi driver could be to invest in a portable contactless card machine. If you split your taxi lease or work for a private company, regular stops to deposit receipts could result in less lost revenue.
5. Don’t Resist
About recipes – in the event that you become the target of a robbery, do not resist. The temporary loss of your revenue is a better outcome than a potentially serious injury at the hands of a thief. If you work for a company, they will likely have private rental insurance and your earnings may be reimbursed.