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New Requirements For Cabbies?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 26, 2010 4:40PM

Photo by Senor Codo
By a unanimous 109-0 vote, the State House voted to toughen requirements for cab drivers. Under the bill - which now heads to the State Senate - potential cab drivers must be 21 years of age and have had a driver's license for at least three years. Their driving record must also be clear of "serious traffic convictions, such as for drag racing, hit-and-run accidents or vehicular manslaughter for three years before becoming cabdrivers."

Seems harmless enough, right? Anything that makes it even a tiny bit safer can't be all bad. Not so say the City of Chicago and one of it's biggest cab companies, whose objections focus mainly on the three-year license requirement. Efrat Stein, spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said the new law would, "limit the city's ability to effectively manage the taxi industry...The city allows drivers to be licensed who have not had a driver's license for three years but [who] take an additional driver course to be eligible for a license." And Michael Levine, chairman of Yellow Cab Chicago, said, "It's going to severely affect the influx of new drivers into the industry."