What sort of cab driver turns away a pregnant woman?
I’ll start by saying my old man is a cab driver, so I’ve heard various horror stories about difficult customers over the years. As a result, I can appreciate the job can be challenging, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
However, never before has he told me a tale about leaving a pregnant woman stranded – that, of course, would be a despicable act never to cross his mind.
Turns out that’s all in a day’s work for some cab drivers though.
The weekend of 14th-16th April, Jenna was in Brighton for her friend’s hen do.
Saturday was the big one, with a club night booked at Pryzm for the hens. Although for my other half, at 32 weeks pregnant, that meant leaving just after midnight to head back to the hotel for much needed sleep as the others partied on.
Her friend Claudia escorted her outside to make sure she got into a cab at the West Street taxi rank safely, and it’s just as well she did.
When the girls got to the front of the queue and it was time for Jenna to hop into a cab and head back to the hotel, the driver declared the journey wasn’t worth his time.
Claudia explained – as if it wasn’t obvious already – that being pregnant, Jenna needed to get back to the hotel, but the explanation was made redundant as the merciless money-grabber abandoned his post and drove off leaving the girls out in the cold.
The shock of the snub, topped up with pregnancy hormones, tipped Jenna over the edge and drove her to tears.
“To turn away a sobbing pregnant woman, as a cab driver – whose job it is to get passengers safely from A to B – what goes through your mind?!”
If you thought the first driver was a one-off, the next driver was no knight in shining armour.
Upon seeing my girlfriend crying, he took that as confirmation she was “too drunk” – despite having the bump of a heavily pregnant woman attached to her.
Frustrated, she and Claudia tried in vain to convey what had happened, and why she couldn’t possibly have been drinking, but he refused to listen and also drove off.
Imagine for a second that you’re out and see a teary woman trying to get home, ignoring them would be bad enough. But to turn away a sobbing pregnant woman, as a cab driver – whose job it is to get passengers safely from A to B – what goes through your mind?!
When the third cab – which also tried to bypass the girls – arrived, Claudia jumped into it with Jenna, who felt extremely anxious and uncomfortable at this point, to make sure she got back to the hotel before then heading back to Pryzm.
When I got the call from Jenna in the small hours to explain what had happened I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing and felt livid that she – and anyone else that could be in her position – had to feel that way.
What would have happened if Claudia hadn’t gone outside with Jenna? How many cabs would she have had to hail before one agreed to take her back?
According to Brighton & Hove City Council’s website: “We can only investigate identifiable drivers and vehicles. The easiest way is to note the vehicle licence number, which is displayed on the rear passenger doors or on the plate at the rear of the vehicle.”
Unfortunately, but understandably, she didn’t take down any licence plates at the time.
Still, if that’s how local cab drivers operate, it seems the council would do well to enforce more stringent safety procedures.
A perfect example is the “Closed Door Policy” introduced in 2013 by taxi booking app Gett.
Our ‘Closed Door’ policy has launched in the UK! Drivers will now wait for female passengers to safely enter their homes before driving off
— Gett (@Gett) March 8, 2013
Seemingly, the only “Closed Door Policy” in Brighton right now is one where the drivers refuse to let pregnant women enter the vehicles, never mind ensuring they “safely enter their homes”.