Chicago Cabbies Take a Beating

UIC survey shows violence and racist remarks against taxi drivers common

By Nicola Orichuia
|  Thursday, Oct 8, 2009  |  Updated 2:20 PM CDT
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Don't Beat the Cab Driver

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Cab driving is a dangerous job.

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Don't Beat the Cab Driver

Some Chicago cabbies say they've been assaulted as many as 60 times, and they say the city is doing nothing to curb the violence.
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Reconsider that cab driving career. It's not safe.

A new survey conducted by University of Illinois at Chicago and to be released today found that one in five Chicago taxi cab drivers have been physically assaulted on the job.

Almost half – 44 percent – of the drivers interviewed for the survey said the attacks also involved verbal abuse and racist remarks about their ethnicity, religious beliefs and countries of origin.

The number of attacks has been increasing, Fayez Khozindar, chairman of the United Taxi drivers Community Council, told the Sun-Times.

“Cab drivers are targets for ethnic prejudices,” Khozindar said.

In all, 920 cab drivers were interviewed for the survey, roughly 10 percent of the total workforce in Chicago.

The most targeted drivers are those central and southeast Asian countries (27.7 percent). Muslim drivers reported being attacked more than Christian drivers (23.4 percent and 19 percent, respectively).

But this information is nothing new. Violence against cab drivers has been an issue for a while.

In 2006, the Chicago Tribune issued an analysis stating the “No.1 cause of death on the job for foreign-born workers was homicide, and most victims are clerks at gasoline stations and food stores and cab drivers.”

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