Even though Boston cab drivers are now banned from using a cell phone while driving, the Boston Herald is reporting that many cabbies are either ignoring the rule or just don’t know about it-or so they say. This behavior is dangerous and can cause Boston injury accidents.
One cab driver, Mohamad Moharam, told the Boston newspaper that he wasn’t aware that talking on a cell phone while operating a taxi was now illegal. He also says that police officers have not been cracking down on him or other cabbies when they’ve been spotted talking on their cellular phones.
Hackney Capt. Robert Ciccolo says he doesn’t believe that many Boston cab drivers are ignorant of the new rule as they say they have been. He does, however, acknowledge that it can be hard to tell whether a taxi driver is using a Bluetooth device to avoid getting caught-cab drivers are now not allowed to use this device while driving either. It also doesn’t help that many taxi passengers don’t like it when police pull over their cab.
Since January 1, 2009, when the ban went into effect, 20 violations have been issued resulting in 28 suspension. 22 taxi customers have complained because their Boston cab drivers were talking on cell phones while driving.
Many taxi drivers are reportedly not happy with the ban. Talking on a cell phone while driving has been a way for some of them to relieve the monotony of having to sit behind the wheel of their cab for 12 hours at a time while allowing them to connect with family and friends. The New York Times reports that some cab drivers have said that because they are professional drivers, they believe that they are less likely to become distracted while driving than regular motorists.
Unfortunately, there are many cell phone-driving related crashes that have occurred, including Boston bus accidents, MBTA train collisions, commercial truck crashes, car accidents, motorcycle collisions, and pedestrian accidents, because a “professional” driver was talking on a cell phone or texting and failed to notice another vehicle that was stopped ahead or a green light that had just turned red.
When people talk on a cell phone or text while driving, this means that less than 100% of their attention is on the road. Engaging in distracted driving always increases the chances that the driver will become involved in or cause a Boston traffic crash.
Cabbies turn deaf ear to cell ban, Boston Herald, August 14, 2009
Cabbies Stay on Their Phones Despite Ban, NY Times, August 3, 2009