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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dundee Taxi Driver Attack Caught On Video.

Police are investigating after a video of a woman and a taxi driver apparently fighting in Dundee was uploaded online. 
In the clip, which appeared on YouTube, a woman in a black top can clearly be heard shouting and gesturing at a man in the driver’s seat. 

About 25 seconds in, she can be seen leaning into the cab and appears to wrestle the man, setting off the cab’s horn twice. 
The pair continue to struggle in the cab seat for almost a minute before the woman walks away. 
In the background there is traffic chaos as cars are forced to drive round the vehicle, which is pulled over across one side of the road facing oncoming traffic. 
The incident took place on South Road and was reported to police. 
The video description reads: “This is after about 10 minutes of arguing, she stopped the cab and opened the driver’s door, leaving the cab half on a busy road.”
A police spokeswoman said officers were making inquiries into an incident between a taxi driver and a woman.
“Anyone who has information that could assist with inquiries is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.”
The taxi driver is in a cab that has “Premier” written on the back, but when the Tele contacted Premier Taxis, they declined to comment.
Graeme Stephen, chairman of the Dundee Taxi Association, said: “I don’t know what happened in this case, but in general safety is a concern for taxi drivers. 
“You’re picking up lots of people — sometimes groups of them — and you’re on your own. 
“You don’t know if they’ve taken alcohol or drugs, or whether they’ve just argued with their partner. 
“A whole host of things could have upset them and the taxi driver gets the brunt of it. 
“I find that it’s helpful to have CCTV in the taxi. 
“Lots of taxis in Dundee have it, I’ve had it for six and a half years and it’s very good. 
“The system is set up by the council and the police and they are the only ones who can play back the footage.”

    Source: The Evening Telegraph.

Uber hit with French “deceptive practices” fine, UK tax complaint and Uber no longer operating in Tuscaloosa

Uber keeps getting disrupted by European laws. 

On top of those recent >Dutch driver arrests<, the U.S. quasi-taxi outfit has now been >fined €100,000 ($128,000)< in France for falsely marketing its paid-for UberPop (a.k.a. UberX) offering as a carpooling service, and told by the Parisian court to warn its drivers that they face “criminal conviction.”

 Meanwhile, in the U.K. transport authorities have >referred Uber to the tax authorities< for, unlike other taxi firms, not paying any tax in the U.K. (Revenues go to a Dutch subsidiary that’s >owned by a Bermuda subsidiary<.) 

Indian authorities are >also on the firm’s case< over tax, so at least it’s not just Europe.

Click on links >...< to read full stories 

    Source: Gigaom

Uber no longer operating in Tuscaloosa

Police Chief Steve Anderson told the City Council on Tuesday that the Uber ride-sharing service is telling its drivers to stay out of Tuscaloosa.

"It appears they have ceased operations in Tuscaloosa for the time being," Anderson said.

The city said earlier this month that Uber drivers would face arrest unless the San Francisco-based company complied with a series of vehicle-for-hire regulations that are enforced on other, more traditional taxi services.

City Attorney Glenda Webb said she had not heard from Uber's legal representatives since Oct. 7.

"Like everything else Chief Anderson and the TPD handles, they did a great job on this," said District 6 Councilman Eddie Pugh. "We appreciate what you did on this, chief."

Uber is a global transportation company that recently expanded into 24 new cities, 22 of them college towns like Tuscaloosa, prior to the start of the 2014 college football season.

Uber officials said the service it offers is not that of a traditional taxi cab business.

Uber doesn't own the vehicles or employ the drivers — each is an independent contractor who uses his or her own vehicle — but the company said drivers must pass records checks going back seven years.

Because of this, Uber officials said the city's "outdated rules" governing traditional taxi and limousine services do not apply to them.

    Source: Tuscaloosa news

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Warning: KPM Rental Drivers Uninsured.

If you have a rental cab with KPM, you should be aware that the group insurance policy covering all KPM's rentals has been cancelled and you should not drive the vehicle. 

A letter sent out today, confirms that the company has gone into creditors voluntary liquidation.

If you have any queries, you are advised to contact 
David MacCormack at Close Bros on:

Assembly Member Darren Johnson Shows Support For Taxi Trades Concern Over Uber Advert.

After receiving TfL's reply from Vernon Everitt, Taxi Leaks editor Jim Thomas, in conjunction with the RMT London Taxi Branch Press Officer, contacted assembly member Darren Johnson over the Uber advert on TfL's website. 

Darren understands our concerns and has tabled a formal question to the mayor over the advert, in light of current outstanding legal matters.

We received this email earlier today.

Dear Xxxx
Many thanks for copying me in. I completely understand your concerns and have tabled a formal question for the Mayor of London as follows:
Given legal questions surrounding Uber’s operation in Greater London are still awaiting clarification, is it appropriate for the company to be advertising on the TfL website?
I will let you have a response as soon as it is received.
Darren Johnson AM 
Green Party Member 
London Assembly 

Darren also posted this on Twitter a short while ago


Things You Should Know About Uber...Who's Driving You?

What is it about Uber, that makes TfL bend over backwards to support them as a fit and proper company to hold a Private Hire Operators Licence in London?

This company has carried on operating in European cities where it has been ban, with no regard for being compliant with the rule of law in that country. 

How can TfL advertise this company on their website without it being a conflict of interest?

TfL say the Uber Advert meets their in-house guidelines!
It may fulfil in house 'guidelines', nonetheless it's completely inappropriate for a public authority that (in the case of Taxi and PH licensing) exercises a quasi judicial function, to carry material from a licensee.

No other UK regulator or licensing authority carries' any such advertising and an internet search has found none anywhere in the world that so do!

TfL not only have to be beyond reproach in these matters, but perhaps just as important, they need to be seen to be so.

Would the Civil Aviation Authority carry a link to Ryanair on their website, or the rail regulator carry one for the Heathrow Express?

Of course not, neither should TfL.

Watch the Video below and find out the truth about 4 Uber Myths.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

City of London Police carry out controlled explosion, on unattended Taxi left opposite Gherkin... By Jim Thomas.

The City of London police panicked when a silver TX2 was left on a Taxi Rank, outside the Gherkin building in St Mary's Axe. This seems to be the City of London Police way of informing Taxi drivers not to leave your cabs parked on City ranks overnight.

Taxi drivers have been leaving their cabs on Taxi ranks in the City for many years as drivers decide to take the train home to deepest Essex rather than driving through the rush hour traffic. 

But now, with the security status raised to a substantial threat of a terrorist attack, the City police will be keeping a more vigilance eye on vehicles they find abandoned on Taxi ranks. Instead of putting out a statement to the Taxi trade, informing drivers not to leave vehicles unattended on City ranks, they decided to blow one up, hoping the message will get to drivers quicker.

City of London Police said officers were called at about 7.45am on Monday morning after the vehicle was reported left there overnight. 

Police threw a cordon around the area amid the alert, with several key roads closed during the rush-hour, a controlled explosion was carried out on the Hackney carriage, which was parked near the skyscraper.

Witnesses reported seeing a small controlled explosion on the silver taxi in St Mary Axe. Pictures showed its rear window smashed and the back of the vehicle, which was covered in police tape, damaged.

The window of a nearby Slug and Lettuce pub also appeared to have been smashed. The taxi was removed by officers and the cordon lifted after around an hour.

A spokesman said: "We were called to a report of a suspect vehicle. Officers were sent to the scene and the vehicle has now been removed. It is no longer being treated as suspicious."

Perhaps the CoL police could now concentrate on the hundreds of cars that are left parked outside clubs, hotels, bars and restaurants touting every night. 
Or like RD2, have all minicabs got special dispensation from the police as well as TfL? 

      Minicabs parked outside old Billingsgate, apparently with the blessing if TfL.

If a terrorist wanted to leave a car bomb outside a building in the City or anywhere in Central London, they have only got to put a minicab roundel in the window and they can park it wherever they like. 

Editorial Comment From Semtex
I myself am only too aware of the dangers of the imminent threat of terrorism. I realise that with the National threat being escalated recently, Police Forces across our capital, have to justifiably be vigilant.

I would expect then, that the decision by the Area Commander in the City Force to blow the cab up, was made after intelligence suggested that the parked up TX2 had indeed appeared suspicious.

However, if the controlled explosion had been deployed as a result of the cab being left there overnight, then that is a different issue.

The cab was Licensed, plated and still bearing the driver's personal identifier numbers.

It would take a Police Commander minutes to ascertain who the driver was, and the origins for the authenticity of the vehicle.

I cannot for the life of me believe that the City Police would display a show of strength by going for the easy nick London Cab trap again? 
Surely not? 

As you say Jim, with mini cabs across London parking and waiting illegally every night of the week with apparently no official challenge, it makes you wonder where the priorities are.

Bearing in mind that mini cabs are driven predominantly by foreign nationals, most Police Forces simply cannot afford a counter claim from Human Rights Representation Barristers. They are terrified of them. 

To display their strength then, a hit on the easy nick London Taxi Trade manages to complete the target led paperwork back at the station, perfectly !

Statistics are met, time scales adhered to and a visible show of zero tolerance on clear view for all to see. Fundamentally though, and as we all know, it ain't any of us who are likely to blow London up, is it?

To anybody outside our ranks, the act of a controlled explosion on the TX2 opposite the Gherkin would portray a zero tolerance, razor sharp and steadfast approach to National Security by our City Police Force.

As I say,I assume that was indeed no doubt the case. There is no way the City Police would blow a cab up for parking on a rank on a Sunday night,unless they had some real concerns would they ? 
Would they?

8829 Semtex.