NATION

Safety Paramount As Women Taxi Drivers Increase Says Fiji Taxi Association General Secretary

Most female drivers were based in Suva and Nausori there were about two to three in the Western Division.
19 Feb 2020 14:01
Safety Paramount As Women Taxi Drivers Increase Says Fiji Taxi Association General Secretary
Elenoa Vueti, a driver with Tiko Kece Taxis. Photo: Shreeya Verma

The rise in the number of women driving taxis has called for the adoption of safety measures, because of the danger of violence operators around the country face.

Fiji Taxi Association general secretary Ashwin Lal said most female drivers were based in Suva and Nausori.

There were about two to three in the Western Division.

He said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) should implement laws to safeguard women who drove taxis, especially at night.

“There are no safety measures yet, which is why I want to organise a meeting with the taxi industry, LTA, Police and Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, for submissions of safety measures for drivers,” he said

This move has the support of the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

She said: “It is important for them, especially those who are already in the sector to consider the safety issues of women at night.

“It does not only happen to women, but the male taxi drivers also get assaulted every now and then.

“It is great that women are taking this opportunity. I applaud women who have ventured into what’s been a traditionally male-dominated job.

“I encourage women to venture into those areas and for them to decide what is safe for them and what is not.”

Elenoa Vueti, 46, a driver with Tiko Kece Taxis believes that women should be treated equally in the taxi industry.

The sole breadwinner for her four children has been striving in the taxi business for seven years but has never encountered any issues while driving a taxi.

This is because she provides services to regular customers only.

The single parent, of Vuci, Nausori, said: “For the safety of women taxi drivers if they pick someone up from the wrong place and at the wrong time, they will definitely face problems.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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