Law Forces Calif. Cab Drivers to Speak English

Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 11:24 AM

By Michael Reagan

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California does so many things wrong, it’s only fair to point out when the authorities finally do something right. So congratulations are in order for the Sacramento City Council. This wise body recently passed new taxi cab regulations that will require cabbies to actually speak English.
 
Evidently customers were disgruntled when they were forced to use a smartphone translation app to get around their home town.
 
Naturally the drivers were unhappy after the new rules were translated. CBS Sacramento reports that Kazman Zaidi, president of the Sacramento Taxicab Union, has denounced the new regulations, “Maybe they can’t read English, but they can understand, and they can answer the question and where the customer need to go,” he said.
 
Leading me to wonder what language Kazman employed to conduct the last taxicab union election.
 
Zaidi estimates that 100 of the 500 drivers licensed by the city may lose their jobs. Which only goes to prove what many cab customers have felt all along — the cab companies could care less about the customer. Why else would 20 percent of the workforce be unable to communicate with the customer?
 
Cab management’s first priority is pleasing the regulator that has granted them a protected monopoly with no competition.
 
That’s also why the city council has enacted a few more obvious rules the company should have been enforcing. Namely that cabs be no older than eight years and that the drivers wear professional clothing. The last rule, according to CBS Sacramento, amends the initial proposal that drivers “be hygienically clean.”

The market would be happy to solve all these problems for free if there was real competition, but that would mean less for regulators to regulate and the left can’t have that.
 
City Revenue Manager Brad Wasson was quoted explaining the requirements are in response to complaints from customers: “The whole point is from the passenger’s perspective so that they can communicate with the driver, and get to where they need to go.
 
“We want them to succeed, and we want to bring them along so they can serve public better, and pass the test and thrive,” Wasson said. And with that in mind the city will offer the test in audio format for drivers that may not be able to read.
 
But there is no word on plans to attach loudspeakers to Sacramento road signs for those illiterate drivers that Wasson wants to thrive.
 
So in the near future Sacramento cab customers can look forward with eager anticipation to drivers who passed both the English test and the smell test.
 
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
 
 

© Mike Reagan

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