May 17 2010
You have to guess the religion of the taxi driver because the Australian newspaper that posted this story will not. He’s MUSLIM.
The incident outside Central Station in Sydney last week highlighted an ongoing problem for vision-impaired commuters that laws are failing to fix. About 35 per cent of all people with guide dogs have been refused entry to a taxi (by MUSLM drivers) in the past 12 months, despite hefty fines for cabbies who fail to comply.
Sydney woman Sarah Eady said she was at Central Railway’s taxi rank on Thursday when a driver refused to let her five-year-old guide dog Ally into the front seat. “I opened the door and he said ‘Can you sit in the back with the dog’ and I told him the dog was trained to sit in the front,” she said. “He said he didn’t want the dog in the front and then he asked me to put Ally in the trunk.”
Ms Eady said she was often refused entry to taxis because of her dog.
However, the latest incident was particularly frustrating because it flew in the face of a recent Guide Dogs NSW awareness campaign that specifically targeted cabbies. Advertisements featuring the slogan “Any dog can chase a car, ours can catch a cab” have been placed on the back of taxis throughout Sydney.
“These dogs are essential to our mobility,” Ms Eady said. “If I try to get a taxi and they say no it’s hurtful because they are saying no to my dog and my dog is precious to me.