Taxi Cabs: How's My Driving?

New project aims to make roads safer for pedestrians

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    Pedestrians and bikers rejoice, Chicago taxi drivers will have "How's My Driving" bumper stickers on their cars with a number to report bad driving, thanks to a new city project.

    The sticker reads “How’s my driving? Compliments or Concerns, Call 311 Report Taxi Number.” It must be placed in a highly visible spot on the rear bumper of each of the city's 6,892 cabs.

    “With these stickers, passengers in taxis and pedestrians on the street will be made aware of the opportunity to report both good and poor taxi driving,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner (CDOT) Gabe Klein. “This is part of the effort to change the behaviors that lead to pedestrian and vehicle crashes.”

    The option to dial 311 and file complaints or compliments for a particular cab have always been available, but until now the only place it was publicized was inside cabs or by reaching out to a local official. For those who have filed before, the process is still the same. What's new is the promotion to raise awareness and encourage feedback from those not riding inside the taxi.

    Cabbies who receive multiple complaints for pedestrian frogger or unsafe driving end up on the BACP watch list. Too many complaints will result in a renewal denial, suspension or mandatory training to correct their problems.

    The project is a part of the pedestrian safety campaign sponsored by CDOT, the Chicago Police Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and aims to reduce pedestrian crashes and fatalities. It also comes on the heels of the passage of reforms that include new safety features and a cab fuel charge.

    All complaints are followed up with and the more aggrecious ones are put in writing still. Depending on the nature of the complaint a hearing will be held to determine the best corrective action.

    Taxicabs will be outfitted with the new sticker when drivers report for their semi-annual city inspection through the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP).

    BACP and CDOT added that compliments are appreciated as much as the complaints.

    “So often we only hear the negative, but positive reinforcement for those that do their job well can be a wonderful motivator for a tough job,” said BACP Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel.

    This is what the bumper stickers will look like.