Yellow Menace

 

At this moment, we have no idea what happened (or didn’t) when a cab driver crashed into a pack of bicyclists on the MacArthur Causeway.  At this writing, police are still out there in the eastbound lanes with the Checker Taxi, its windshield shattered and caved in, several twisted bike frames under its front bumper.

 

But if you ever drive in Miami Beach, you can’t be surprised.

 

As far as I know, records of accident reports are not searchable by cabbie involvement.  Maybe more telling is that no statistics show how many traffic citations cabbies receive.  My guess is, not nearly enough.  

 

Who has not been tailgated, cut off, or nearly blown off the road by a cab driver using the speed limit as a suggestion? 

 

A busy residential road that I travel daily has speed limit signs that seem to be spaced every 10 feet.  Police patrol with radar guns and ticket books fairly regularly, and they’re shooting fish in a barrel.  But the cars they pick off and pull over are not the taxi cabs. 

 

A few years ago, a cabbie bringing me home from the airport laughed at me when I asked him to slow down.

 

Maybe they get a break from the law because they carry the precious cargo of the tourist trade.  Maybe they draw a bit of look-the-other-way sympathy because they need a decent driving record to earn a living.  Aren’t those are some of the very reasons cab drivers should be held to a higher standard?

 

Remember the Miami Nice campaign a few years ago?  Cabbies were trained as “hosts with the most” because they are a tourist’s first encounter with South Florida hospitality (hold the jokes).   I’d just be happy if they were held to the same rules of the road as the rest of us.

 

So, apologies in advance if the cabbie who creamed the bicyclists this morning had a medical issue or some other mitigating circumstance.  That said, buckle your seatbelt.

 

**Update – 11am Monday, 826 west:

Mario and I are heading to a press conference, talking about the taxi/bike crash, when a Yellow Cab cut off another driver in front of us.  Five minutes later at our exit, the cabbie cut us off so he could exit right from the left lanes.   Then he pulled off to the side on 72nd Ave., and when we pulled up along side of him, he was studying a map

ith the car load of people he had as fares.

 

He looked up and saw the giant Local10 live truck next to him.  We rolled down the window and asked if he were lost.  He was.  We sent him on his way with directions.

 

How I wish we’d had the time and opportunity to interview the tourists in his cab about their impressions of a Miami taxi driver who couldn’t get them to a destination on numerically arranged streets. 

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. Weird. As long as I’ve been living and driving in this country, I only saw cabbies running as there’s no tomorrow in Manhattan, NY. Here in Miami they are the slowest drivers, and yes, they enjoy cutting you off and making your driving life miserable, specially if you are in a hurry. As far as I know, they are paid by mileage/distance and not by time, as done in NY. Maybe I’m wrong, but mom always told me not to get a taxi because they are expensive and they go slow on purpose.

    I just read in the news that the taxi driver who caused this accident won’t be charged. Why is that? He, as everyone of us, must face the music. He drove CARELESSLY! If it has been me or you or any ‘common’ people living in this city who caused the accident, we could even face jail. Why not he?

    By the way, drivers should be more careful using their turn signals (or corner lights), everytime they are going to change lanes and/or turn any street corners; also the authorities should enforce the use of handsfree devices, because I see lots of people on the phone, and most of them act like stupid and don’t focus on driving, so accidents are sure things.

  2. Just one question: Who’s Mario?

  3. Mario is an excellent photojournalist here at Local10. Thanks for asking …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: