Taxi men in this country get a pretty bad rap. There is never a shortage of people complaining about them on the various radio stations, or on one of the many message boards in Ireland. Sometimes I think a bad reputation can hang around for an unfair amount of time, and I think they suffer from this because of years past. I vividly remember the countless hours I have spent trawling the streets of Dublin in the small hours of a Friday or Saturday night waiting for a taxi. Back then the numbers were small in comparison to today and getting one was next to impossible unless you walked far out of the city – or you were just lucky.
Thankfully today it is different and there are many more taxi’s on the roads, so it is not so much of a problem. Actually the tides have turned now and it’s the drivers themselves that do the most amount of complaining about not being able to make a decent living. It’s called a free market and competition lads, deal with it.
Anyway I could go on and reinforce many other people opinions about why they have a bad reputation, but I’m not – I’m just going to talk about the one that pisses me off most: their frankly appalling standard of driving.
Now please let me state that I may be making sweeping statement here, but I am not trying to slander every single driver. There absolutely are some very good drivers out there, but unfortunately they are by far the minority. I do a fair bit of driving on the roads of Dublin in both and car and on a Motorbike, and it really amazes me how when I see some bad driving on the roads, a massively disproportionate amount of time it is a taxi driver.
Honestly I am just amazed at how these people’s actual profession is Driving, yet they seem to be worse than most of the rest of the people on the roads – which really isn’t saying much to begin with. Taxi’s seem to think they have their own set of rules different from everyone else, and make no apologies for it.
What i see most is the following:
- Even though they have the use of the bus lanes, which lets face it is more of a taxi lane than a bus lane, the majority choose to drive along straddling both lanes, so traffic in the inside lane cannot get past. GGGGRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!
- They think hazard lights are ‘stop anywhere lights’ and think nothing of blocking traffic behind to pick up a fair, instead of finding an appropriate place to pull in. Many times I have beeped them after sitting there for over a minute only to be ignored or waved at in percieved ignorance.
- Edging forward at a red light, going over the line and often breaking the light in advance of the green, only to travel at 15-20mph for 500 meters. Just wait until the light goes green and accelerate as normal for Gods sake!
- Not being courteous, not indicating, bad roundabout procedure…. the list goes on and on.
I think there should be several people who’s job it is to ride in taxi’s and mark their driving ability. If they are not diring properly their permit should be suspended until they get lessons.