Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Renews Call for City to Take Proactive Steps to Prevent Violence Against Cab Drivers

Following a two-week period in which two Chicago cab drivers were robbed at knifepoint by a passenger, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 is renewing its call for further reforms to protect Chicago’s 12,000 cab drivers.

“After the brutal murders of our fellow drivers Chinedu Madu and Seneca Richardson last winter, we called on the city to take our safety seriously and take the steps necessary to protect us,” said Cheryl Miller, a veteran Chicago cab driver and Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 member.

“Before this outbreak of robberies, our union met earlier this month with the Chicago Police Department and talked at length about requiring the installation of a panic button that drivers could use to alert the authorities that there is an issue, providing our location via GPS to dispatch help quickly,” Miller said, “but we’re not seeing change fast enough.”

 Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 has also advocated for the following further reforms:

-Larger and more visible signage within the cab that alerts passengers to the criminal penalties for assaulting or robbing a cab driver.

-Using existing technology, show passengers they are being recorded by displaying footage from the security camera inside the cab onto the video screen many cabs have in the passenger compartment, providing a similar deterrent as the convenience store that prominently displays security camera footage.

“As cab drivers, we keep our great city moving, day in and day out,” Cab Drivers United’s Miller said. “It’s disgraceful that, in the face of an epidemic of violence against cab drivers, the city isn’t taking our health and well-being seriously.”