Minneapolis Looking To Stop Cabbies From Using Cell Phones

Most of us who’ve lived in major city for long enough have had those experiences of sitting in the backseat of a cab, irritated and possibly concerned by the driver’s incessant yammering on his/her phone. Wouldn’t it be nice if such distracting chit-chat was illegal?

The lawmakers in Minneapolis are considering legislation that would make it against the law for cabbies to gab on the phone. Surprisingly, many drivers say they don’t have a problem with this regulation, but they are worried that the current proposal would ban cell phone use even when the cabbie doesn’t have a passenger.

A rep for the Minneapolis Taxicab Drivers and Owners Association tells WCCO-TV, “We would like to have the taxi drivers to use limited (cell) phones because that’s the only time they can… be able to communicate with their family members when they don’t have passengers.”

Even the city councilman who sponsored the bill is rethinking the language, saying, “I think we should ban cell phone use when a driver has a customer in the cab… When they don’t have a customer in the cab, I don’t think we should be as concerned until the State of Minnesota acts uniformly against all drivers.”

A handful of cities, including New York City, have banned the use of cell phone handsets for everyone behind the wheel, though the use of speakerphone or hands-free devices is still permitted. However, some believe that the mere act of having a phone conversation while driving is enough to distract a driver and put them at risk.

New Rules Could Stop Cabbies From Using Cell Phones [CBSlocal.com]