Chicago Encourages You To Be Nice To Your Cab Driver In New Campaign

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Jul 10, 2015 7:18PM

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A yellow cab (Photo by Elena Kovalevich via the Chicagoist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

After yet another incident of aggressive behavior against a cab driver, the city has launched a public awareness campaign to encourage people to "Be Polite, Not Violent."

We should hope so.

Recently, cab driver Henry Rone was being stiffed out of a fare. He attempted to confront the woman, who proceeded to slap him, knocking his glasses off his face. The glasses shattered and he eventually filed charges against the woman, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The incident led Rone to wonder:

"Every day, you step out of your house to drive and you worry a little and think, ‘What might happen today?’ Riders should know there is a consequence for doing something to the driver. It will give us more respect."

With that incident in mind, the city has launched a campaign "intended to remind passengers that Chicago's public chauffeurs deserve respect and there is no reason for violence," according to Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek. Chicago has, of course, seen many more serious incidents against cab drivers, but this video is certainly a step in the right direction.

Given how rough cab drivers' jobs are, it seems fairly obvious that you should be nicer to them and not punch them in the face. It's just common courtesy, and I really can't believe it requires a video reminder.

The complete inappropriateness of violence against cab drivers aside, while we're on the subject of taxi etiquette, we'd like to see a reminder to cab drivers that passengers don't need any more unsolicited life advice. Not everyone enjoys being trapped in a conversation with a stranger about politics, religion or other subjects that usually are off limits in polite social settings. (Editor's Note: And knock it off with hitting on your passengers, cab drivers. It's creepy, completely not ok, and we're tired of walking an extra block home after faking our home address when we've had to decline giving you our number. This isn't speed dating, it's a business transaction.)