Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another British cab driver fined for refusal to pick up blind woman, guide dog

From the Slough Observer in the UK. Another cab driver in Nottingham was fined for the same thing in November 2008.

A taxi driver has been fined more than £2,000 for refusing to take a booking for a woman and her guide dog.

In July Slough Borough Council was contacted saying that private hire driver Jarnail Singh had refused to take a disabled and partially sighted woman and her registered assistance dog. He told the hotel receptionist who booked the vehicle that he did not take dogs in his car.

By doing this he committed an offence under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) regarding the carrying of guide dogs. Under this act drivers cannot refuse to carry registered assistance dogs unless they have applied for and been granted an exemption certificate on medical grounds, which Mr Singh had not done.

He was convicted in his absence of having ‘failed or refused to carry out a booking made by, or on behalf of, a disabled person’ for the reason that ‘the disabled person would be accompanied by their assistance dog’. He got a £1,000 fine and £1,175 costs.

Mick Sims, licensing manager for Slough Borough Council, said: “This is a very serious offence and breach of the DDA that we will not tolerate. We’re extremely pleased with the result as it’s our first prosecution of this type.

"We hope the case serves as a warning to all other licensed drivers to ensure they operate fairly and within the law.”