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Friday 24 February 2017

Taxi drivers 'likely to stay home' on Friday due to garda strike

Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

Concerns over garda strike
Concerns over garda strike

Taxi drivers are “very likely” to take the day off on Friday, the head of a taxi union has said.

Christy Humphrey, General Secretary of the National Private Hire and Taxi Association which represents more than 5,000 taxi drivers, said today that drivers were “very concerned” about potential increases in dangerous driving and crime without guards on the streets.

“From what we’re hearing, a large number of drivers will stay home,” Mr Humphrey told Independent.ie.

Mr Humphrey indicated that drivers would be less likely to follow the rules of the road without a Garda presence and that this could cause accidents.

“Take the bus and taxi corridor on Westmoreland Street near the Central Bank. It’s bad enough as it is, but if that becomes a free-for-all we’re in big trouble,” he continued.

“There was a major crash on the M50 last week and the guards were out in force. We have no idea what will happen if something like that happens on Friday.”

Mr Humphrey also raised drivers’ concerns about crime.

“If a driver is in difficulty and calls 999, who’s going to respond to him? Of course the guards have to do what they think is best but we have to look after the safety of people.”

A taxi driver contacted the NPHTA last week to express their concerns: "Dealing with the public is dangerous enough at the best of times as a taxi driver, but without back-up from the gardaí, I think we are very susceptible to petty crime and an open target, especially since we're a cash industry and at the coal face."

Business owners have also expressed concerns about the increased risk of crime on Friday, and have been advised to hire security staff if possible and keep cash on the premises to a minimum.

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