Sunday, September 04, 2016

Drivers Safety Compromised With Rear Fitted CC Readers.

Imagine, you pick up two or three male passengers, it's obvious they've been drinking. They take you to a destination, 10 miles from the centre of London, it's two in the morning and they direct you to a quiet, badly lit, side street.
One says "can we pay by card ? ". 
He then says "it's not working! ". 
You cancel the transaction and tell him to try again, " it's no good.....can you come round and show me how to do this?".

What could possibly go wrong? 
You're in a quiet location with two passengers who you know nothing about. You get in the back and about to turn your back on them to concentrate on the CC reader.

Now imagine you are a female Taxi driver.....what do you do.?

There has been no consultation with the trade in respect to safety of the driver, male or female.

Trade representative orgs haven't bought up the safety aspect of the new condition of fitness with TfL. 
It appears the whole process has been rushed through without common sense.

Question: Apart from everything else, should TfL have the right to compromise driver safety, in favour of stakeholders with financial conflicts of interest.

To be honest, the only reason we can see for having the machine fitted in the rear compartment is to facilitate a favoured few by introducing a restriction of trade in regard to smaller suppliers who have now had to withdraw from the Taxi market.
One radio Taxi company has said the financial burden of equipping all its 1,200 vehicles could be the straw that breaks the camels back, with then disappearing from the trade completely.

Advice from TfL has been contradictory, condescending and confusing. They say we have a duty of care to assist passengers with any equipment fitted in the Taxi, then say it's up to us to assess the situation for our own safety.

This is TfL's official line given out on social media, although we couldn't pin anyone down to put their name to it.

'Given the popularity of using credit/debit cards as a means of payment in London, I believe this to be a very unlikely scenario. If a customer does experience difficultly using  the card machine, you can offer verbal advice, or you can remove the  handset from the cradle and provide assistance that  way. Ultimately it will be the drivers’ responsibility to assess the situation & decide whether it's appropriate to enter the rear passenger compartment to resolve a payment problem.'

Typical of TfL...not one of the units we've seen is removable from its cradle, with getting into the rear to remove it. Some units cannot be removed by the driver.

There are more problems emerging as drivers have equipment fitted before the deadline. Machines won't boot up, screens freeze. TfL say if your machine develops a fault, you must stop working until it's fixed, 

Many drivers have been using hand held units for many year, with no problem and no complaints from passengers.

The Independent Taxi Alliance will be asking all female drivers to turn up at City Hall for a protest to coincide with  the Mayors question time. Banners will be provided curtesy of Dads Defending Daughters and the Mayfair Mob. 

If you care about driver safety, whether you are female, or male, come along to City Hall and make it clear to the Mayor, you have no confidence in TfL's handling of the Credit Card Mandate. 

Not fit for purpose, Totally failing London

Editorial comment:

About Independent Taxi Alliance (ITA)

The Independent Taxi Alliance is a driver led organisation of Licensed London Taxi drivers, from all Orgs and Unions, united in a common cause.

The ITA is a proactive group of drivers from DDD, MM, LCDC, RMT, UCG, Unite, LTDA and non affiliates.
We ask no fee or subs.
And we support all Orgs, Unions and pressure groups favouring none above any other.

All members are expected to demonstrate, protest or use civil disobedience in the fight for justice.

The ITA motto: 
'Nunquam redono, nunquam deditionem', means 'Never give up, never surrender'.


Deb said...

leaving keys in ignition, someone jumps in and steals vehicle, will insurance cover

Anonymous said...

Those in authority don’t live in the real world and are not streetwise.

Alan Fisher said...

We don't need to have the card readers in the back. They work perfectly well in the front in association with a notice saying that the driver accepts credit cards. We all agree that most passengers are fine, but you wouldn't want to pick up the exception, let alone be forced to get in the back because they claim they can't get the card to work! Last week I sent an email to the Mayor, several members of TfL, several MPs and trade org leaders. It read:
To everyone on this list, I'd like to put the following question. You need only reply if your answer is yes. Kind thanks for taking the time to read it and if you are not a taxi driver, consider yourself lucky that you will not have to face the situation below...

"If you are not a taxi driver, then for one moment imagine that you are. You are directed to a very dark South London estate at two in the morning by three passengers who during the trip have become rather noisy and have obviously been drinking - although not drunk. They put their credit card into the machine placed in the passenger compartment and tell you it's stuck. Would you get out of the cab and go into the back???

Kind regards

No one has yet responded so I must assume they all agree...

Anonymous said...

I cannot understand how salaried and apparently intellectual employees of a major city mass transportation system can get this credit card mandate so wrong?

If they (TFL) disagree with the safety argument put forward by so many trade commentaries then let TFL come out and make their reasons known publicly by their highest ranked spokesman (hopefully Leon Daniels) who can subsequently be sacked for gross incompetence, as this decision is clearly ranked as one of TFL's worst ever by placing every single driver in a very dangerous one on one situation completely unnecessarily and must be cancelled immediately.

It has been suggested that TFL is afraid to withdraw the mandate of compulsory installation of passenger card readers because of pressures from installation and equipment suppliers who have financially invested in systems/stock due to the prior approval of their systems and may sue for loss of investment, and we all know how TFL runs from corporate litigation this may be a reallity, but they must remember that if any driver subsequently sustains injury through having to leave the safety of their partitioned taxi compartment to alleviate problems with mandatory fitted card readers as the user/s of this installed equipment is non driver controlled legal actions will undoubtedly follow as the whole process is borne our of total assumption and expectation that the passenger/s are using the isolated equipment honestly or correctly so is not governed by the driver from the safety of his seat... its so absurd, this is licensing authority negligence and not driver decision by choice.

Card processing facilities have been used without any risk to driver safety or passenger space intrusion for many years and has a good track record, It may be a good idea to ask TFL for statistical records surrounding complaints in prior card processing usage in taxis, as it is patently clear TFL have a motive for changing direction on its decision over how card processing has been successfully operated in the past to the position we have now which has driven them to make such a mess of this operational issue today.

It was supposed to be a case of creating complete simplicity and uniformity that all London Taxis have card reading facilities and not wholesale security issues on both passenger space intrusion or drivers risking robbery or assault.

Be Lucky

greenbadgejohn (on twitter)

Anonymous said...

Lastnight I encounted a problem in peckham when my customer complained about my route. When it came to paying he had had difficulty with the card system, at the time it seemed like a convenient way to evade payment, he even couldnt get the card in the device. I really did not want to get out of my drivers compartment to assist as he was starting to panic. He kept on pushing buttons which caused a problem to the device infront by making it freeze up so i couldnt take the payment manually. Such a fiasco. Tfl has said to the trade you can offer your own device as an alternative but I find this such s contradiction towards there own legislation. A transport regulator that doesnt want to adequately represent transport issues such as seeking a directive that defines prebooking over imediate hire but wants to regulate in areas outside of transport by interfering with the way we accept credit cards.

Anonymous said...

In my view this is not incompetence on behalf of the regulator but a deliberate act to cause maximum difficulty to us & is just another example of the complete disdain tfl have for the Licensed London Taxi Trade