We were listening to the BBC news yesterday when we heard the report that a cab driver was fined for refusing a Assistance Dog.
Mum ran from the study to sit in front of the telly and heard the best news – an ex-Uber driver (Mum doesn’t like them – so it’s double victory) had been fined £1500 for allegedly claiming to be allergic to dogs – and therefore refused to take a visually impaired man and his assistant dog.
This is DeeBee – a small Labrador retriever cross. How can you not fall in love with that face?
The visually impaired man took a video of the incident and reported it to Uber. At the court hearing, the driver could not produce any proof to certify that he is allergic to dogs and he pleaded guilty.
Minicab or private hire vehicle drivers (unless they have a medical exemption):
• Must carry the assistance dog and allow it to remain with their owner
• Cannot refuse a booking, or refuse to carry out a booking, due to someone having an assistance dog with them
• Cannot charge extra for carrying an assistance dog
• Have a duty to provide a reasonable service
Taken from the Guide Dogs charity website
May’s comment: There have been a few cases in recent years of drivers being fined for refusing to take Assistance Dogs – all duly trained to help humans with disabilities. So by refusing to take an Assistance Dog is the same as discriminating against the person.
The Equality Act 2010 states that taxi and minicab drivers must carry assistance dogs unless they have genuine health reasons not to do so. Local authorities will provide a driver with an exemption certificate if they give proof from an appropriately qualified medic. The certificates should then be available to show to an assistance dog owner on demand.
To read about their story – click on this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-47136278
This does not apply to all dogs – so we have in some ways been met with discrimination. A few times by black cabs have driven past us, but almost every time by Uber drivers and other car services in London. Even more so outside of London. We never use Uber – it is always allergies, their religion, or just don’t like dogs.
If this could be the beginning of the law being taken seriously, maybe having dogs in an environment may start to be less foreign to many people.