New year, Christmas eve to be honest they are all the same. Its a night out full of merriment and forgotten memories of the night before, and embarrassment the morning after whilst your looking at the crazy photos. But when it comes to going out we can sometime feel a little insecure especially if our friends inadvertently leave us on our own to get home. As a taxi driver myself I often see females walking home on their own and it disturbs me, on a few occasions I have picked them up and taken them home for free as they have not had any cash on them. You wont find this a regular occurrence as we all have to make money and have an income.
After being a taxi driver now for a few years my female customers have told me many stories of what has happened to them, below are a few tips for THE FEMALES among you of how to be careful when getting a taxi home at this time of year.
- Never sit in the front of the taxi if you are traveling alone: If you are travelling in two’s sit in the back, and if one does have to sit in the front this lady should (if convenient) be dropped off first. It isn’t due to the fact that the driver may not be trusted, on the contrary it saves any misinterpretation of gestures and comments by both parties. Especially if the female is heavily intoxicated, which in fact if this is YOUR friend you shouldn’t send them home alone anyway. (unless you know and trust the driver beforehand)
- Never ever get in a taxi/cab if it doesn’t have a company name and number on the side or a TAXI top light: Black ‘London’ taxis quite often have the emblem COMPUCAB or DATA CAB. And to be honest these type of cabs are checked, then checked again and then checked just to be sure. Know the company that is taking you home.
- Take a business card from the driver: ALWAYS ask the driver for a card even if you decide not to use the driver or company again, IF something does happen that you are not happy with or if you think you have dropped something in the taxi you have a number to start at.
- Fake phone calls instil confidence: If you are feeling a bit weary of your driver once you are on your way, make that phone call to someone you know. Even if you cant get no one IMPROVISE pretend you are talking to someone. This may sound a little crazy but it works especially if you commentate ‘to the person on the line’ about where you are.
- Always, always, always, make sure you have money to pay: Take a minimum of £20 and place it in a hidden pocket either on you or in a bag. There are drivers out there that wouldn’t leave a female stranded but they/we do need to make a living so there is a small percentage that wouldn’t give a free ride and they are justified in doing so.
- All taxis have a council number: Make a mental number of the taxi council plate either on the rear or from of the taxi, make a note of it on your phone once you are in the taxi. FRIENDS: make a note of this as well as you send your mate on her way.
It is despite common belief fraud, to hire a taxi and then refuse to pay or do a RUNNER and if the company or driver persue it you WILL HAVE TO PAY and police can be called.
LADIES……NEVER EVER WALK HOME ON YOUR OWN EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO MONEY,QUITE OFTEN IF YOU TALK TO A DRIVER THEY WILL UNDERSTAND AND AN AGGREEMENT CAN BE MET WITH REAGRDS TO LEAVING SOMETHING AS SECURITY UNTIL YOU ARE ABLE TO PAY. eg. mobile phone, item of jewellery etc.
These tips were given to me through talking to customers over a long period of time, how ever you get home over the festive period make sure you are safe in doing so. Not all taxi drivers are dodgy if any are actually at all. But it can be intimidating trying to get home late at night.