TCI News

TCI: Taxi Driver license in jeopardy; aggressive behavior with tourists caught in the middle

#Providenciales, May 7, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A taxi driver’s rantings captured on cell phone video and shared on social media has drawn comment and action from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is responsible for licensing of the drivers.

Minister Delroy Williams issued a statement today condemning the behavior of the driver, who is licensed by the Road Safety Department and who is caught raging over a pick-up job at the Seven Stars resort; all in plain sight of tourists.  An investigation has been launched, said Minister Williams.

“The type of behavior that is being displayed in the video has no place in our jurisdiction and will not be tolerated by individuals to whom we grant permission and entrust confidence to provide public transportation of the highest standard and quality to locals and guests visiting our Islands from overseas. It is even more regrettable that this incident occurred while service was being provided to passengers given our reliance on the tourism industry. I wish to assure the public that we do not take this matter lightly and it will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

A video, seemingly captured by the taxi operator himself never reveals his identity or that of the taxi driver whose vehicle he stopped and checked, but the audio is clear.  The confrontational situation exposed what can only be described an embarrassing scene played out in front of guests to the country. 

In the recording, a driver opens the door to what appears to be a taxi with two guests who had just climbed into the vehicle.  The guests are questioned about how they came to be in the taxi; the female tourist looks confused and frightened as she and her male companion are told that there is always a problem of drivers picking-up jobs out of turn.

The female guest actually says: “…cause you scared me..” and laughs nervously as it is explained by the ‘aggressive’ taxi driver that all is well.

The driver of the taxi carrying the tourists did demand that the disgruntled driver to move away from the taxi.  The angry taxi driver was also asked firmly by an employee of Seven Stars to leave the property and not to return.

An investigation has been launched into the incident and a negative outcome could have dire consequences for the taxi driver.

“Section 11 of the Road Traffic Ordinance provides for the revocation of a licence on being satisfied on reasonable grounds that the licensee has failed to comply with any of the conditions to which the licence is subject. It further provides for the suspension of a licence for any period up to six months on being satisfied that any person to whom such a licence has been issued has conducted himself in such a way as to cause annoyance or nuisance to any member of the public, or generally to bring himself, the Islands or the operation of tourism in the Islands into disrepute.”

The video was circulated on May 2 and the media release today added that, “The Minister’s decision is final should the decision be appealed.”

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