Calling a cab during a snowstorm might seem like a good idea, but there’s no telling if that taxi has winter tires.
Spryfield-Herring Cove Councillor Stephen Adams said there’s no bylaw making snow tires mandatory for taxis, and the issue hasn’t come up at the Taxi and Limousine Advisory Committee.
“These are mostly private vehicles, so I’d say a majority of them have all-season (tires),” he said. “I don’t think we should mandate that – I think they should use their judgment. Like the other night, it doesn’t matter if you have winter tires or not, you shouldn’t be on the road, but people still expect the cabs to be on the road, which is kind of a double standard.”
Cab driver Brian Allen said all cabs – and all commercial vehicles for that matter – should have snow tires.
“We’re out in the elements transporting people and to me, it’s just another safety issue,” he said. He has four snow tires on the cab he drives for Casino Taxi, where some drivers just install two. He said it’s a necessary expense.
“I know there will be a lot of cab drivers who will hate me for saying that because they don’t like to spend money on their cars.”
Allen was out in the New Year’s Eve blizzard and witnessed a cab without snow tires unable to make it up a small hill.
Still, there’s pressure for cabbies to make a living no matter what Mother Nature throws at the HRM.
“It is a very competitive market and I don’t think business is what it was a few years ago,” Allen said. “I’m out in the elements as much as I can and until such time that it’s impossible, I’m going to work. If it gets too slippery, I’ll park my car somewhere because it’s a greater headache if you have an accident.”