HALIFAX - HRMâs accessibility advisory committee is looking for new ways to crack down on taxi drivers who refuse to accept passengers with a service dog.
© Metro Halifax file photo
Halifax taxi drivers lined up waiting for drivers.
Itâs illegal for drivers to refuse anyone with a service dog, unless the driver has a certified medical exemption.
However, two committee members said Monday they continue to hear about the problem from friends and relatives.
âWhy isnât it being enforced, why does this keep happening if itâs a law?â said Patricia Gates.
Yvon Clement said heâs tried to report several incidents â three involving his wife â to companies and the cityâs taxi commission, but was told he needed the driverâs roof light for any enforcement to take place.
He said thatâs a tall order for someone whoâs visually impaired.
âYou can usually find out what company it is, but the roof light number is a little harder, especially after they drove away,â he said.
Drivers are supposed to receive training and written material clarifying their legal obligations, and can face penalties ranging from fines to loss of license for violations â if theyâre caught.
Committee member and regional councillor Steve Craig said the problem is âunacceptableâ â as is the response that nothing can happen without a roof light.
âThereâs probably something we can do to say, if thereâs a visual disability complaint that comes through, the traditional things that youâd ask for just donât work,â he said. âNot just well, you donât have a roof light, thatâs it. To me, thatâs not good enough.â
Craig will work with Gates and Clement to explore enforcement options and report back to the committee.