Keep calm and carry on driving, say cabbies
Taxi drivers often encounter violent and aggressive passengers. But this does not mean it should be part and parcel of the job, they said.
TransCab driver Joseph Ho, 55, said he gets rude passengers - most reeking of alcohol - about once a month.
His worst experience was picking up an intoxicated youth, who kept spitting in his vehicle, from a club on Sentosa a few years ago.
"I had no choice but to stop the vehicle. I told him to alight and take another cab. That's when he stared at me and pushed my shoulder," he said.
But Mr Ho, who has been a cabby for 14 years, kept his cool.
"It's difficult to stay calm in such situations, especially when the passenger is insulting you and your entire family.
"But we have to because we are just making a living and we don't want to get into trouble," he said.
ComfortDelGro cabby Henry Tay, 45, recounted an incident where a passenger verbally abused him from the moment he boarded the taxi.
Mr Tay, who has been driving a cab for seven years, simply smiled at the aggressive passenger.
"I consoled myself that after the 30-minute ride, I may never see him again," he said.
National Taxi Association's executive adviser Ang Hin Kee has suggested placing an inward-facing camera in cabs to deter passengers from becoming aggressive.
"It doesn't matter if it's a taxi driver or any other service provider, there's no excuse for being violent," he said.
- RONALD LOH
I consoled myself that after the 30-minute ride, I may never see him again.
- ComfortDelGro cabby Henry Tay, recounting an incident with an abusive passenger