If you live in a major metropolitan area where jumping into a taxi is common, it's no secret cabbies are held under alot of scrutiny. With strict industry regulations, fierce competition for a fare, and the amount of people claiming that most drivers are reckless, dangerous, and possible threats to society, one can only assume that it's a tough break driving people around for a living. I mean, would you really want to drive drunk-you around?
We decided to meet with cab drivers to try and get their side of things and find out some of the crazy shit they've had to put up with over the years. They had a few horror stories to share.
Getting Choked by a Seatbelt
Sometimes we get drunk people and we drive them home safely, but sometimes they get violent when they drink too much. One time a passenger tried to choke me with my seat belt. Some guy got in my cab downtown and so I said to him, “Brother where are you going?” After he didn't reply, I asked if he was going to fall asleep so I could put the address in my GPS, so I could navigate myself. He said, “No, no, I’m not going to fall asleep.” When we started getting closer to that area of town, I asked again for the address but the passenger wouldn’t give it. I said, “I can’t keep driving—you have to tell me where you’re going or I’m going to have to go to the police.” The passenger then grabbed the driver’s seatbelt and started choking me and said, “Motherfucker, drive!” I pulled the car over, pushed the seat belt open, and tried to get out of the car, because I don’t care, he has no right to choke me. When I opened the door, he ran away.
Smashing into a Tree
I picked up two guys from a club asking if I could take them to a different club. They told me that their limo had left without them. When I got off the highway they asked me to take a different street, and I could see that it wasn't safe. It was dark, and I was alone, and these two guys were sitting in the back. The fare was up to $60 dollars and one of the guy’s credit cards was declined. It was a little bit scary for me, because we were far from more congested areas. I asked them to leave something in the car for collateral, while they went home to get money and right away, they grabbed my neck. One guy grabbed the machine and banged me on the head. Once I took my foot off the brake pedal I smashed into a tree, and wrecked my car. I’m lucky they didn’t kill me.
Two Girls Going Nuts in the Backseat
When I just started driving about three and a half years ago, two girls started fighting in my car. They got kicked out of a nightclub, and when the bouncer put them in the car I didn't know what to do. They needed to go far so once we were on the highway, they started fighting and I started to freak out. One girl was punching the other and using her high heel too. There was blood and hair everywhere. Once we were getting close, one of them swung the door open and ran away. I called the police after the remaining girl started threatening to break my GPS. As soon as I got out of the cab she ran away so I waited outside of the building she went into. After waiting an hour the police never came and my shift was over. It cost me 45 dollars.
Being Used As Getaway Car in A Bank Robbery
I happened to drive for a gun robbery. I was stopped by a man on a moderately busy corner. He asked me to wait because he had two friends coming so I said OK. Then two guys got in three to five minutes later, and they asked me to drive them to 20 minutes away. They looked like high school students. Two of them had backpacks and one boy was holding a bag with all the cash inside, which I didn't know at the time. As we approached their destination everything was clear, even though it was rush hour, and I wondering, "What's going on?" As I continued I saw about a dozen policemen with guns aimed at my car. They came on the loudspeaker and said, "One by one get out of the car." I was terrified. And now that I think of it, the passengers seemed pretty nervous but never would of guessed they had guns on them.
Death Threats Over $10
Once I was heading down a busy avenue on Saturday evening, and a person flagged me down. I picked up the customer, and then another cabbie followed me and pulled up beside me and yelled, “Don’t take money from that customer or I will come and fuck your mother!” He was definitely insane. Some drivers are so tough, they don’t care, they want the customer so bad they'll even cause an accident over it. This guy wanted to kill me for ten dollars.
Drinking and Driving
Our cab company once found a fellow cabbie in front of a stadium, stumbling around, and they found out he was drinking the alcohol in his car. He was taking his breaks at bars and even drinking during his shift. The police caught him because he was swerving while making a U-turn. I couldn’t believe it.
Illustrations by Alex Sheriff
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