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I wouldn't fit green cab lights for racist drivers

AN auto electrician who fits green lights to taxi roof signs has said he would not install them if he thought somebody was buying them for racist reasons.

Noel Byrne, who runs a business in Walkinstown, says he has sold units to drivers of all nationalities.

And he argues that they are used to make cars more visible to passing customers, not to indicate a driver is Irish.

"I rang the regulators office and was told you can't have a red light or a white light on top of a sign, but there was no restriction on a green one," Noel told the Herald.

"You can't have the white or the red in case people confuse them for brake lights or reversing lights," he explained.

"I sell a good lot of them, and other drivers get their own ones made up. People have told me their business has increased with them because they are more easily seen," Noel explained.

"The green light is a bit more visible during the day than the yellow in the roof sign," he added.

"I've sold them to people from Poland, China, Nigeria, Ireland, from everywhere," said Noel, who charges €25 to have a green light supplied and fitted to a roof sign.

Visible

Dublin taxi drivers today blasted Transport Minister Leo Varadker for declaring their green lights illegal. The minister believes the lights are "inherently racist and I think it's inherently xenophobic".

Drivers defended the use of green lights on the tops of their roof signs, and said they only used them to advertise that they are available.

"There is nothing derogatory or racist about me using the green light. I got it to try and make my car more visible to potential customers at night time," said Pat Lyons at a taxi rank in Tallaght.

"I noticed that after I got installed my business did increase at night and people told me the green light made my car stand out from the other traffic."

Pat said he got the light fitted around 18 months ago, and that nobody ever criticised it.

Another driver said the green lights were being advertised in taxi circles as accessories.


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