Summerside — A taxi driver for Courtesy Cab in Summerside, P.E.I. is fighting a ticket he received last week for not rolling through a stop sign while still being a taxi — a fine that carries a hefty $39 bill and a possible three-hour suspension of his licence.
The City of Summerside has been cracking down of late on people who don’t follow the rules to the letter and taxi driver Rob Gallant, a 39-year veteran of the cab service, believes this is more than overstepping the bounds of what the city is allowed to enforce.
“It’s just not fair,” he complained. “Am I supposed to follow the laws, or not? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!”
The officer involved in the incident, Const. Mark Arsenault, was willing to speak to the matter personally. “I’ve been on the beat for 10 years and I’ve seen a lot,” he said, “but never have I seen a taxi NOT roll through a stop sign!”
Arsenault remarked that it was a disgusting display and a violation of the Taxi-man’s Code. “I’m shaken to the core. What’s next? Taxis not charging $10 for a two-minute, en-route stop at Needs?”
“The Taxi-man’s Code is more a set of guidelines than actual rules,” explained head dispatcher Tiffany MacIsaac. “We’re getting our legal team involved with this matter and can’t comment on it further at this time.”
The City and the Summerside Police this morning released a joint comment on the matter:
“We truly regret the inconvenience caused to Mr. Gallant. However, the City of Summerside is NOT in the habit of ignoring rules or past practice. We encourage the taxi drivers to continue to follow the Taxi-man’s Code and our citizens to vigilantly call 911 if they see a taxi obeying any traffic laws in the future.
The case will be heard this Thursday in provincial court.