Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Stop Fining Them, Start Removing Licences!

Shammus Mohammed Afzal admitted breaching the Equality Act when he appeared before magistrates.
The court heard the 26-year-old had been called to pick-up a partially-sighted woman from Helen & Douglas House Hospice charity shop in Magdalen Road on June 17.
But when he arrived he refused to let the dog into his taxi with its owner because he claimed it was “dirty” .
And the punishment? Pretty pathetic. As always.
Afzal, of Clive Road, Cowley, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he was fined £500 – reduced from £1,000 because of his guilty plea.
He couldn’t very well deny it, could he?
He was also ordered to pay £300 court costs and £100 compensation.
That’s, what, a week’s work for a cabbie?
Vale legal democratic services leader councillor Sandy Lovatt branded Afzal’s excuse of the dog being dirty as “lame” and said he had a legal duty to pick up the animal and its owner.
He added: “The law is very clear. If someone requires a guide dog then it must be allowed to travel with them unless they have an exemption.
“In this case the driver made some fairly lame excuses. However, as pointed out by the magistrate, even if the dog had been dirty he would have still had a legal requirement to allow it in his vehicle and he should have been aware of that and had blankets available.”
Yes, he should. But they do it because the chances are they will get away with it, and when they don’t, the punishment is minimal.

Let’s start by removing their licences for a year.


Bucko said...

I still can't back a law that says if a person starts a business they must cater for whoever the government tells them to, from gay cakes to dogs in cabs.
And the law also says you must take a dirty dog into you vehicle and bring your own blankets if you want to avoid a mess? No. The rest of us are subject to cleaning fees if we make a mess of a taxi.

A person with a guide dog may have a disability but that doesn't give them the right to dictate how a business owner chooses to operate their business.

The Blocked Dwarf said...

Travis Kalanick says 'hi' to all his friends at the RIB...and each Uber driver will be getting his/hers/its 'nondiscrim' pack of environmentally friendly eco-doggy booties in the mail this week.

Northish said...

Bucko, I used to think like you, but I had a Niece who was crippled in a car crash that wasn't her fault in any way. When something like that happens, you can never put it right, but you look favourably on anything that makes their lives just a bit less of a struggle. If you are in business, or at any time, and you get a chance to help, well sometimes it's just luck that it's not you who needs it. I have somewhat less sympathy for those who get off on sticking their old man up another blokes exhaust pipe, because that's not a disability.

Bucko said...

Northish - Don't get me wrong, I would think a taxi driver an arsehole for refusing to take a guide dog but would still stand by their right to refuse entry to anyone into their vehicle for any reason (particularly if the dog was dirty and would make a mess).

I sympathize with people who need a little extra help, but don't beleive the right way is to force everyone to help by law, should they cross the path of someone who needs it. Should we scrap the guide dogs in taxis rule, there will still be plenty of taxis who are more than happy to carry guide dogs (or any other dog).

Just like a pub, a taxi is not a public place, it's a privately owned place that allows the public access. That access should be by invite of the property owner, not forced by rule of law and threat of the loss of livelihood.

Twenty Rothmans said...

Having read what you said, Bucko, I have to agree with you. Liberty is more important than compassion. Liberty is absolute, compassion is a value judgement.

Under normal circumstances, I surrender my Tube seat for women with children. This offer is not extended to my local ChavMum, who, (with dyed bright red hair and two whirling dervishes with dissimilar skin colour) due to austerity, must try to eke out a living buying scratch lottery tickets in the corner shop.

I'm regularly discriminated against because the hotel room I can fart and vomit in will not permit me to smoke. I receive neither compassion nor liberty.

Anonymous said...

Bucko: all dogs are "dirty" ie haram if you're muslim. Nothing to do with physical dirt.

Bucko said...

Anon - Not being a muslim, I was only referring to physical dirt. The article mentions supplying your own blanket

JuliaM said...

"I still can't back a law that says if a person starts a business they must cater for whoever the government tells them to..."

And I have a fair amount of sympathy with that but while the law is the law, people will obey it! Don't like a law? Lobby to change it.

"This offer is not extended to my local ChavMum..."

I'm pretty selective which people I give up a seat to, as well.


Bucko said...

"Don't like a law? Lobby to change it."

I don't think I can put my finger on a time when a bad law was repealed. Once something becomes law, It's almost impossible to have it removed. The alternative is to follow the old saying - Good men ignore bad laws.