Are the Police Harder on Cab Drivers? 

Some New Yorkers think cabbies are a menace to the streets, taking unnecessary chances just to make an extra few bucks; others see them as the consummate urban adapters, speeding through the city with the greatest of ease. The cops? It would seem they don’t think much of taxi drivers.





 
Ahmed
Where I hailed him: Midtown West
Where he hails from: Pakistan
Years as a cabbie: 2
Previous profession: Student

The police always stop me, especially at the tunnels. That’s what it seems like. Do I think that has anything to do with me being 25 and from Pakistan? Yes. Of course. I’m just trying to make a living like any other driver, but I look scary to them I guess. It’s too bad. It wastes my time, and if I have passengers they get unhappy.
   
Awad
Where I hailed him: East Village
Where he hails from: Egypt
Years as a cabbie: 4
Previous profession: Deli man

Yeah — that’s true because they consider us professional drivers so they hold us to a higher standard. Plus, there’s no respect from the police for the taxi driver. I feel they are a little more scared of private drivers — that they will complain. The most common thing they give tickets for is changing lanes without a signal. And always in the court the taxi driver is guilty, which I don’t think is true for the private driver. The taxi driver is like an easy hunt for the police.
   
Jamil
Where I hailed him: Midtown East
Where he hails from: [witheld]
Years as a cabbie: [witheld]
Previous profession: [witheld]

You are police?  You need to see my identification?  No. No, I am not talking to you.

Nadeem
Where I hailed him: Murray Hill
Where he hails from: Pakistan
Years as a cabbie: 6
Previous profession: Storeowner

Yeah, we get a lot of tickets. Every driver has seven or eight tickets. I don’t understand why they give so many. Right before they sold all the medallions the police were very quiet, but after they sold them they were everywhere — they got very tough with taxi drivers. Every single day, you look, almost every street they have a taxi pulled over. I don’t understand why they give so many tickets to taxi drivers. And they never listen to our explanations either. Here, I have a ticket in my pocket right now from a few days ago.
   
Ranjit
Where I hailed him: Midtown West
Where he hails from: India
Years as a cabbie: 8

Previous profession: Construction
Definitely. Any chance they get they pull us over. It’s bad. What if I get too many tickets and they take away my license? Then who takes care of my family? The city? I’m all alone here. This is my livelihood. If I can’t do this, how do I get the money for my family?
   
Jean Paul
Where I hailed him: West Village
Where he hails from: Haiti
Years as a cabbie: 10
Previous profession: Mover

The police are always stopping me. I’ve gotten two tickets this month. Those things add up. It’s killing me. No right turn on red? It’s three in the morning and the guy in the back is telling me he’s in a hurry. Can you give me a break, police? I guess not, right? Parking in front of a fire hydrant was the other one — I was just going in to get some food, and I come out and there’s the ticket. They won’t give me a break.

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