A turning point for New Orleans cab drivers

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The October 1st deadline has passed for city taxi cabs to comply with new vehicle upgrade laws, like cameras and credit card machines.

Driver Billy Johnson drivers say the day is s a turning point, “This summer here is the worst summer we had ever.”

As of Monday, cab drivers must have installed cameras, credit card machines, a GPS, ID place cards and a top light that displays ‘on duty’ and ‘off duty.’

“A majority of them are not ready,” say driver Larry Henry, “It will be coming out of our pockets plain and simple.”

Plus, vehicles can’t be older than 11 years old. “That`s ridiculous. Everyone just can`t afford new automobiles,” says Henry.

“And the rent going to 460 a week now. That`s ridiculous,” says Johnson.

Henry says they he’s complianed about the new regulations but it’s already costing business: “I had several customers get out of my cab because of the cameras. They didn`t want to be photographed.”
Drivers will endure all credit card transaction fees and also staring Monday, fill out a daily trip log.“It’s only going to take a picture when they’re getting in and when they’re getting out. It’s not filming on the inside of the car,” says Johnson. “We are not allowed to look at the footage in the camera. That’s ridiculous.”

“Why do we got to turn our trip sheets into the company so they can know what we make and what we don’t make? We’re independent!”

Due to a backup installing cameras, an extension permit is granted until November 1st when taxi cab inspectors start enforcing.