Taxi driver will pay $3250 for refusing Commissioner’s guide dog

yellow TAXI sign

Taxi driver James Young should probably not be buying any Lotto tickets.

A Sydney cabbie is in the doghouse after refusing to allow a guide dog and its high-profile owner – Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes – into his vehicle.

James Young could not have picked a worse person to turn away than Mr Innes, who is a lawyer and human rights advocate.

He promptly reported the cabbie to the Department for Transport, which launched a prosecution.

Today, Young was fined $750 and ordered to pay $2500 in costs at a Sydney court.

The SMH continues:

A recent Guide Dogs NSW/ACT survey showed one in three guide dog owners were turned away by cabbies in the past 12 months, with Sydney drivers the worst offenders.

Categories: law & order

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10 replies

  1. My initial thought was that cab drivers obviously need some education regarding assistance animals in taxi’s. Then I read the article – “Guide Dogs has worked with the NSW Taxi Council for six years, educating drivers about guide dogs.”
    Education clearly isn’t enough 😦

  2. My sister works in Transport here in Perth. It wouldn’t surprise me that this sort of thing happens. 😦

  3. It drives me wild that cabbies still do this, considering that here in the US, people carry their small “purse dogs” everywhere with them without anyone raising an eyebrow.
    Good on the Comissioner for making the complaint, but it’s so infuriating that it’s only taken note of when someone with clout brings it to the media’s attention.

  4. Oh, but wait, there’s more!

    When asked to provide his cab number, Mr Young gave five digits instead of four, which Mr Innes knew to be a false number, the court heard. Mr Innes then reported the cabbie to the Department of Transport, which launched the prosecution.
    Mr Young denied the allegations, telling the court he had no problem with the animal and had been unable to move his cab as it was blocked by other taxis.
    ”I have got a lot of respect for people,” Mr Young said. ”I love handicapped people.”
    Ms Huber found that Mr Young had discriminated against Mr Innes and disagreed with the suggestion made by Mr Young’s counsel, Craig Bolger, that no harm had been caused.

  5. This is very common, alas, particularly over here (UK), with the exception of the excellently trained London ‘hackney carriage’ cabbies. I must admit I thought Australians had grown out of it. Apparently not.

  6. “I love handicapped people”?? Oh my.

  7. “I love handicapped people”?? In the same tone as ‘I love children’, usually spoken between the teetch with the fixed grin? Yeah. I believe him.
    Well, I believe that he puts “handicapped people” in the same category as children in his head, anyway.

  8. Busted.

  9. “I love handicapped people”??
    Yep. Maybe like… he likes ducklings. Or pickles.

  10. Maybe some of his best friends are handicapped people.

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