Guilty Cabbie Is First Convicted Of Refusing Guide Dog
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 7, 2006
LONDON, ENGLAND--A cab driver has been convicted and fined for refusing to take a blind passenger and her guide dog.
The Norwich Evening News reported that it is the first time a taxi driver has been convicted for denying service to a rider with a disability because of a service animal.
Bernie Reddington, 37, filed the complaint against taxi driver Basir Miah under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which makes discrimination against people with disabilities a criminal offense.
Reddington said that she arranged for the private cab to take her, 13-year-old son Christopher, who is also blind, and her guide dog Orla to the train station. She said she "felt sub-human and awful" when Miah saw Orla and said, "No dogs."
Last week, Miah admitted in court to refusing to transport the family. The court fined him £150 ($275 US).
Reddington told the Evening News she was surprised to learn that this was the first such conviction.
"I thought there must have been someone feistier or gutsier than I am who would have complained," she said.
"If this can stop something like that happening to anyone else then it will be worthwhile. I really hope this sends out a message to all taxi drivers to think again before they decide to break the law."
"I hope this benefits other blind and partially sighted people who have guide dogs."
"Cabbie would not take my guide dog" (Norwich Evening News)