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300+ Taxis Off City Streets Due To Ordinance Violation

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Apr 10, 2010 4:15PM

Photo by Nathanmac87
The Illinois State House unanimously voted to impose tougher restrictions on Chicago cab drivers recently, and the crackdown on unsafe cabs in the city are continuing at full speed. Some ordinary cars that are involved in accidents are repaired and reused as taxi cabs. The problem is that Chicago has a law which prohibits cars with titles indicating that they have been "salvaged" or "rebuilt" to become taxi cabs. Prompted by the discovery of one car in very poor condition, which turned out to be a salvaged car in disguise, the city began a full-on investigation last October of all taxi cabs by running a more careful inspection of title histories of each cab.

By the end of Friday, 339 cabs were deemed unsafe and taken out of commission. Cabs are supposed to be inspected by the city twice a year, but it is hard for the average inspector to know whether or not a car has been salvaged if the car in question does not show immediate physical or mechanical deficiencies. It is unclear who could have altered the titles of these taxi cabs but as a deterrent, the city proposes to administer heavier fines or to revoke medallions against those cab companies that knowingly purchase salvaged cars. It's commendable that the city is focusing on the safety of taxi drivers and their passengers, but very alarming that such a great number of taxis weren't even supposed to be on the road in the first place.