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What SHOULD I have done? Taxi fails to obey sign
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:49 am 
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This may be unusual, but I'd like to know what I should have done in the following situation:

My family used a taxi service recently and our inattentive driver failed to stop at a stop sign which nearly resulted in a collision with another vehicle backing out of their driveway on the far right of the intersection. My husband filed a complaint against the driver and the company defended him by stating that the vehicle backing out of their driveway was to yield to oncoming traffic and that their driver was not in error. Although I understand this, the company neglects to recognize that their driver failed to stop at the stop sign (and the other driver was most likely expecting him to stop as well). If we had been hit, which driver would most be at fault?

Also, should I be concerned that this company is defending a driver that violated traffic law? This driver, prior to the above incident, was doing rolling stops at other stop signs, and generally not paying attention. Should I have filed a non-emergency traffic violation?

Thanks in advance
(and I apologize if this is entirely the wrong forum to post such a query)


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Re: What SHOULD I have done? Taxi fails to obey sign
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:45 am
Posts: 38
Location: Waterloo
This is a very common action among taxi drivers given my observations. In fact it is one action of many that I see taxi drivers violate on a daily basis. The most annoying is stopping and waiting for pick up on busy, clearly marked with signs, "no stopping" areas. I can understand if you have a fare to pick up that you obviously have to make a quick stop to get them but waiting there for 10-15 mins blocking the flow of traffic is unacceptable and should be enforced.

As per your sitation, I beleive if the driver blaintly blew a stop sign and hit a car on the other side of that stop sign that the taxi driver would be at fault.

Look at it this way, how often do you come around a blind corner or through a stop sign in a residential area and someone is backing out of their driveway and their vehicle is already half on the road? You could easily keep going at 40km/hr, nail them, and claim you had the right away and they did not yield to traffic yet when they were performing their manuever in fact it was clear for them in their line of sight.

Not to mention the fact that this is rediculous, if someone is already in the process of backing out of a blind area (near a bend in a subdivision, at a stop sign, or in a shopping mall) you wait until they completely back up and pull away you don't try and beat them and blow by them by crossing the yellow line or switching lanes unsafely at the last second.

If I was the investigating officer I would consider careless driving an appropriate charge for this taxi driver because the definition of the careless driving charge is simply put driving dangerously, without any care or attention, which in my opinion and given the situation is exactly what the taxi driver was doing, he was risking the lives of the fares he had in the taxi and the person backing out of the driveway and for what? to save 10 seconds? So maybe, just maybe if he did an action like that 100 times in a shift he may have time to get 1 or 2 extra fares during his shift and make an extra 10-20 dollars.

As for the company defending the driver, this should be expected and not surprisingly, like I said before this is very common among taxi drivers (the classic rolling stop, running lights, illegal u-turns, and of course, residential speeding). And frankly, companies probably like this fact, so long as the drivers are not getting into accidents but drive substantially more aggresive they are increasing revenue by having a higher volume of fares in a night. The only time I could see a company caring is if the driver was getting into accidents and getting charged because of their aggressive driving.

As per the legal obligations you should take, if any, I think hwybear would be a better person to answer on that one.

I don't know how much use it is reporting the issue after the time of the offense. It is very hard to make a charge stick in court without a officer visually witnessing said offense.

Bear,

Have you ever been involved in, or have you heard of specific enforcement objectives of dangerous driving by taxi drivers?Especially during peak hours of taxi usage (when clubs and bars open or close).

I am curious of the answer..

I have never in my life scene a taxi cab stopped at the side of the road with a police officer behind with it's lights on.

I have however seen many taxis involved in MVCs. Whether that means they were to be blamed or not is a different story.


Sorry for the rant on this one but this was a great dicussion for me because this problem really urks me.

Cheers,

Jonathan


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Re: What SHOULD I have done? Taxi fails to obey sign
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:35 pm 
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Jonathan,
Thanks for the reply. To give further insight, the driver was so involved in talking about himself and not paying attention that I didn't even realize he blew past the stop sign as he did not slow down. I remember cursing the driver of the other vehicle for backing out until I heard my husband and the taxi driver talking about the stop sign that he failed to obey. Up until this point, he had already done several rolling stops, and as you say - those are all too common with taxi drivers.

Here's a link to a screenshot of the complaint I filed with the BBB; you can see how they make excuses and defend their driver:
Link with company specific information and contact name edited out by moderator Radar Identified

Here's my email to the BBB after receiving an email that they've closed the case, even though I wasn't satisfied with the response -
Quote:
You are correct. I am not satisfied with the response. The company chose to give excuses and defend their driver after a tart, but failed, reminder of traffic law and neglected to acknowledge the fullness of my complaint. The BBB only saw that the company matched my monetary request for compensation and thus deemed all is well and resolved. At this point, I don't care if they send the vouchers or not. I will not use their services again - I dare not entrust our safety to drivers who fail to grasp the simple concept of stopping at a stop sign.

If the company had acknowledged this, had given a sincere effort to understanding our concern, I would not be this put off. All I can say is, I am very glad we did not get hit. Imagine that! I wonder how many excuses the company would give then.


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Re: What SHOULD I have done? Taxi fails to obey sign
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Posts: 2881
Location: Toronto
If you are concerned about the cabbie's driving, the best thing to do is complain to his company (which you did). If they do not appropriately deal with the situation, then go to the BBB (which you did). The other alternative is to report it to the police. You have witnesses and can also identify the driver. He was (allegedly) repeatedly breaking the law and not paying attention while driving. However, I don't know if your local police would investigate further. Toronto area police almost certainly will not, unless the cab driver was totally insane. Other than that, if a cab driver is truly scaring you, you do have the option of telling them to stop and let you out immediately. It sounds like you've done all you can at this point. Don't know what else to tell you.

As far as the specific "collision" scenario goes, the cab driver's company is technically correct. Unless the other driver was reversing within the intersection (in other words, his driveway was within the boundaries of the intersection - for example, houses on a t-junction intersection), the cab driver would have not been considered at fault, and likely would not have been charged. The "stop" sign only controls the intersection and nothing beyond it. Your description seemed to indicate that the driveway was beyond the intersection's boundaries.

Highway Traffic Act 136 (1)(a):
Quote:
Stop at through highway
136. (1) Every driver or street car operator approaching a stop sign at an intersection,

(a) shall stop his or her vehicle or street car at a marked stop line or, if none, then immediately before entering the nearest crosswalk or, if none, then immediately before entering the intersection; and

(b) shall yield the right of way to traffic in the intersection or approaching the intersection on another highway so closely that to proceed would constitute an immediate hazard and, having so yielded the right of way, may proceed.


His driveway is not a highway.

Highway Traffic Act section 139:
Quote:
Right of way on entering highway from private road
139. (1) Every driver or street car operator entering a highway from a private road or driveway shall yield the right of way to all traffic approaching on the highway so closely that to enter would constitute an immediate hazard.


In other words, if he was backing out of his driveway, he was obligated to give way to the taxi, rolling stop or not. Also the Ontario Fault Determination Rules would've ruled the other driver 100% at fault for any ensuing collision. His driveway would have had to have been within the confines of the intersection for the cab driver to be at fault. (Fault Determination Rules section 7 subsection 3.) That subsection does say "if there are no traffic signals or signs," but that means signals/signs specific to the private road or driveway. There is a possibility that both may have been charged, but the driver who was backing out would've been charged before the cab driver in this instance.

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* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Re: What SHOULD I have done? Taxi fails to obey sign
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:26 pm
Posts: 2881
Location: Toronto
Separate Note: My wife was recently driving down a busy street in Toronto, in the right lane, when a cab driver turned right from a side street without slowing at all. She had to swerve violently to avoid a crash. To illustrate how close it was, the guy who was behind her stood on his brakes and screeched his tires. She honked at the cab driver, who subsequently chased after her, making excessively threatening gestures. She turned off in to a gas station where an EMS was parked. He took off. She called the guy's company. The guy who dealt with her was rather rough around the edges (f-bomb everywhere), but he said he would deal with it and apologized, and said it wasn't the way he expected any of his drivers to behave.

Sometimes it all depends on the person taking the complaint or the attitude of the company, unfortunately. Looks like the company you dealt with didn't have a good attitude about the whole thing, to put it politely.

_________________
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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Re: What SHOULD I have done? Taxi fails to obey sign
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Thanks!
So, basically -
The taxi driver is at fault solely for not stopping at stop signs, however the driver backing out would have been responsible for the collision if it had occurred.

That's fine, I can accept that. However, I still feel the company is defending their driver. It's like they're not reading that he was not obeying stop signs.
I'm still exercising consumer rights by not using their services again.


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Re: What SHOULD I have done? Taxi fails to obey sign
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Location: Toronto
You have every right to refuse to hire them again. If I had a driver like that, I'd probably do the same, especially since they got all defensive about it.

_________________
* The above is NOT legal advice. By acting on anything I have said, you assume responsibility for any outcome and consequences. *
http://www.OntarioTicket.com OR http://www.OHTA.ca


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