Cabbies need to take a stand

February 09, 2018
A taxi driver dropping off passengers in downtown Kingston in February 2015.

Taxi drivers in this country like to threaten to withdraw their services if they don't get rate increases whenever the price of anything to do with their motor vehicles goes up, and justifiably so. Owning a cab is a risky business.

The cost of tyres, gas, and spare parts makes profit hard to come by, especially when you consider the state of Jamaican roads and the rat race that is the transportation business these days.

Sometimes, those threats amount to something, and at other times, not so much.

That being said, in recent times, there have been some disturbing things happening within the industry that I wish they would take strike action over, but I hold out little hope, and that's a bad sign.

Over the past year or so, there have been several reports of young women taking taxis only to be abducted, raped, and, oftentimes, killed. Just recently, someone I know was abducted and raped, but thankfully remained alive to share her experience about her horrifying ordeal.

More and more, we hear of these harrowing tales of young women falling prey to these 'cab drivers' who seem out only to prey on weak and defenceless women. But, for all the times this has happened, we are yet to hear anything from the organisations representing taxi drivers or the drivers themselves.

 

Why is this?

 

Are we to believe that they see nothing wrong with the rogue elements among them living out their disturbing sexual fantasies on unsuspecting women?

Are we to believe that they don't believe they can do anything to rid their industry of this vermin?

Or are we to believe that they simply don't care?

As long as they make their money and it doesn't affect their womenfolk, all is well with the world.

There is a saying that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything, and this is where I see too many Jamaicans on important issues today.

If I were a cab driver - whether in Kingston, Spanish Town, Portmore, Montego Bay, wherever - and individuals working within my industry, or under the guise of working in my industry, were serial sexual predators, I would want it to stop.

I would want people to know that my cab is safe, that when you say you want to go from Half-Way Tree to Papine, that is where you will end up safe and sound.

If this is not what you want, then you are no better than the rapists and murderers that exist within your ranks, Mr Cab Driver. That makes you even worse than they are.

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