Monday, 25 June 2012

Taxi Scare Campaign

The taxi booking company 1300CABS has abandoned its campaign warning women about unmarked hire cars.  This campaign was in response to Professor Allan Fells report on his inquiry into the taxi industry which recommended opening up the taxi market to more prebooked hire cars. The campaign depicts a young woman screaming "Stop please, no, please" with her face against the window of a taxi.  The suggestion that goes with this lurid poster is that more pre-booked taxis will swamp the streets with "sexual predators".On Jon Faine's Friday morning program on 774 a spokesperson for this campaign stated categorically that London had more sexual assaults that Melbourne has with the present system.  This was nonsensical.  We do not know how many sexual assaults occur in the Melbourne system. London has a highly regulated taxi industry with high levels of knowledge around locations and streets. 
Melbourne's is different.  We have reports of sexual assaults by taxi drivers.  Not all of these women want to report.  So the taxi companies do not know what happens. The withdrawal of this scare campaign is a victory for commonsense.  Women do need to be careful when hailing cabs on the street but prebooked hire cars are a different issue.

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