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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Halifax man fined for driving fake taxi

Licensing body issues $1,272 ticket for using a phony roof light to pick up unsuspecting fares.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 10:08 AM

The driver's license card—featuring a photo, name and expiration date—is usually displayed on the back of the front seats.
  • The driver's license card—featuring a photo, name and expiration date—is usually displayed on the back of the front seats.

An unlicensed driver in Halifax has been posing as a legitimate taxi cab and picking up unsuspecting fares.

On Monday, a social media account posted a warning about a driver using a fake roof light after hearing complaints from two Casino Taxi drivers.

Brian Herman, president and operations manager for Casino, says he’s aware of the problem.

“Yeah, I haven’t seen them myself, but I’ve heard a handful of drivers have either reported it or have witnessed it,” he says.

It’s an issue that crops up periodically in his business.

There’s always somebody out there looking to make a quick buck, and this may be the case,” says Herman. “Though, I don’t know the specifics.”

Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Dianne Penfound confirms a 64-year-old man was pulled over by officers on October 30 after trying to pick up fares in the 1000 block of Marginal Road.

The illegal taxi had a light-up roof number that was a duplicate of another licensed cab. Police took the driver’s information, but let him keep the fraudulent roof light.

A month later on November 22, HRP issued the driver a $1,272 summary ticket for operating a vehicle as a taxi without a valid license.

The news comes as HRM’s licensing body and the taxi industry are still dealing with the fallout from a string of sexual assaults last year in taxi cabs. Several new safety initiatives have been proposed for passengers, including window stickers displaying car numbers and the hiring of an outside consultant for a full safety review of the industry.

Editor: The story originally said HRM's taxi licensing office issued the ticket. In fact, it was issued by Halifax police. The licensing office is still investigating the matter. The story has been updated to reflect this.

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