Second stabbing angers taxi drivers

Terrified taxi drivers call for immediate meeting with Mayor, Police Chief and MLS chief.

TORONTO, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Twice in one week a taxi driver has been stabbed on the job and a third strangled.

"Drivers are terrified. We all live with the constant fear of assault and death. While we worry for our own lives and families our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow driver and his family," said Sajid Mughal, iTaxiworkers Association President.

Angry that little is being done to protect vulnerable taxi drivers, Mr. Mughal called for tougher legal penalties for those who target drivers and more resources to find the criminals who prey on them.

"We are demanding tougher penalties for criminals who commit violent acts against taxi drivers, and more cops working to catch these animals," said Mughal.

Higher criminal penalties and more investigative resources are needed to stop constant violence.

The iTaxiworkers is calling for an immediate meeting with Mayor Ford, Chief of Police Bill Blair and Tracey Cook, the Executive Director of the City of Toronto's Municipal Licensing and Standards Division.

"In addition to meeting with us, we want Mayor Ford and city council to officially request that the federal government bring forward tougher penalties for criminals who target taxi drivers. We need concrete solutions and cooperation from everyone involved in the taxi industry to address the high risks we take," said Mughal.

Driving a taxi is one of the most dangerous professions in society, according to Statistics Canada. Drivers are extremely vulnerable, particularly in Toronto, as they work alone, carry money and are fully exposed to the public.

In a recent survey of iTaxiworkers members, 70% reported having felt in physical danger while working, 85% reported being verbally assaulted while working and over 50% of drivers reported being physically assaulted or attacked while working.

The iTaxiworkers association is urging all taxi drivers to remain vigilant and not take any customers if they feel they may, in any way, compromise their safety.

About the iTaxiworkers
The iTaxiworkers brings together frontline taxi drivers with the aim to unite the many voices to reform the taxi industry so that drivers can make a decent living and come home safely to their families at the end of a shift.

SOURCE: iTAXIWORKERS Association

For further information:

Sajid Mughal, President, iTaxiworkers, 647.836.2930, mskias@hotmail.com
Jackie Edwards, Executive Director, iTaxiworkers, 416.886.0962, jackie@itaxiworkers.ca

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