Fake taxi man caught in Dublin with lone female passenger
The arrest of a bogus taxi driver by eagle-eyed gardai is a warning that young women should exercise extreme caution when hailing a cab alone, a leading women's rights advocate said last night.
The sinister incident happened last Friday night in Dublin, when a driver purporting to be a taxi and using fake signage was arrested by gardai as he was driving a female passenger home.
The driver was pulled over by members of the capital's Traffic Corps who became suspicious of the car, a silver Skoda Octavia, which had a fake roof sign and 'Dublin Taxi' door stickers.
The authorities then discovered that the vehicle had no tax or valid NCT and that the driver had also been banned from driving by the courts.
He was driving without any licence or insurance and displaying a taxi sign without having a public service vehicle licence. The meter was running with a paying female passenger in the "cab". She was totally unaware that the taxi and its driver was bogus. The driver was immediately arrested at the scene and charged.
Responding to the incident, Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop, outgoing CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said it was a stark warning to all taxi users to be careful who they hailed on the streets.
"One of the things that we would always suggest to anybody getting into a taxi is that they make sure that they have all the registered information," she said.
"If you have to travel alone in a taxi you need to take the taxi man's number and name and in the earshot of the taxi driver you should ring home or to someone at your final destination that you're in a taxi and you'll be home in 20 minutes or wherever. You should tell them the name of the driver and taxi number.
"This bogus taxi man may not have been out to attack the girl, he may have simply been out trying to make money. We don't know at this stage but you have to take the proper precautions to make sure you are being carried home by a legitimate driver," she said.
Ms O'Malley-Dunlop, who is set to step down as chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and run as an Independent candidate for the Seanad later this month, added that people need to be aware that there are perpetrators that want to take advantage of people in vulnerable situations.
Anyone unsure if a taxi driver is registered can quickly check by using the 'Taxi Driver Check' app from the National Transport Authority. Users can search by car registration number and the taxi licence number.