I was reminded a couple of days ago of an old school friend who became a taxi driver. I still remember we had talked on and off about some of the tricky legal issues they came across! If you have another school reunion I will have to catch up again because he had some great stories. It was a different world to me – many times the drivers would find themselves out late at night and have to pick up fares as they came out of the pubs and clubs. Of course, many of the customers would be easy going and some would even doze off in the back of the taxi on the way home! Where things got a bit challenging was if there was a dispute over fares or attitude. It made me glad to be doing the kind of work where I (for the most part) dealt with members of the public who were sober and during daylight hours!!
I decided not to ask him how to become a taxi driver! What brought the memory back was that in the last few months I have been doing a bit of web design work for a firm of london taxi barristers who help out drivers who have had a revoked license, often in complicated circumstances. Having discussed the kind of issues that drivers face it really surprised me how many strict regulations the industry has in place. I can definitely see the reasons why the rules have to be there as they need protect safety and standards for public. On the other hand, I got to thinking that the drivers themselves are on their own in their cars late at night with people and they must have to take extreme care not to get embroilled in legal issues. The risks on a taxi journey seemed to cut both ways and it made me think again about criminal defence and prosecution.
Sometimes when you do a site for a client you are promoting a product or a service that at first glance you might make a misjudgement about. The taxi one is a good example beacuse of the rights and wrongs of the process. It is clearly wrong when a unscrupulous driver hires a good barrsiter and gets away with something that legally he deserved to have his taxi license revoked for, but by the same token, it is a great injustice when a good honest driver faces a false accuation and really can face losing their livelihood over it. The important thing to bear in mind that I take away from this is to market and promote to the best of my skill the websites of the clients who engage me and for them to be accountable for their own standards and ethics. I love it when I can be part the team working with a really good product or a great, helpful service, and seeing people like that succeed is actually one of the best parts of the job of a web designer.