Tic tic tic...Yeah that's right, if you are riding in one of the 8,000 taxi cabs in Washington DC there is a good chance that you're running around in a back seat of a death trap. Thanks to Carol Schwartz, Motor Vehicle Department and the under achieving Government of the District of Columbia it's only a matter of time that someone is going to get killed because of those mechanically impossible to maintain old taxi cabs.
It used to be as long as you are legally licensed driver with a taxi permit you can operate a taxi business in the District of Columbia with out residential restriction for tags and registration, that means you can live in the outskirts of Washington DC like in Maryland and Virginia and still be able to register your cab in DC and make a living. Since last march the DMV started enforcing a law that require drivers to live in DC in order to obtain taxi registration and tags. That means drivers like my uncle who lives in Fort Washington Maryland and drove a cab in DC since 1956 can not replace his aging 1993 Crown Victoria with close to 400,000 miles with a 2006 Grand Marquis sitting in his driveway doing nothing just because he lives 5 miles outside the city limit. Does it make any sense? of course not! I wrote about this issue last July begging Council woman at large Carol Schwartz to resolve this issue after I read her quote saying:
"Schwartz said her staff is researching how other jurisdictions handle the issue, and a resolution is expected this fall."
Now winter is just around the corner and the rocket scientist at the District government are still studying this complex problem and they might need the help of NASA to solve this issue. You know what Carol, you are getting fat and lazy because you have been there too long and it's time for the resident of the District Of Columbia to stand up and raise their concern because this is some serious shit and be aware that there is a language in DC taxicab insurance agreement stating that a taxi SHOULD BE MECHANICALLY SAFE AND MAINTAINED. If you're riding in one of these cabs glued together with a duck tape because the owner can not register a newer cab in his or her name, I hope you don't get in to an accident due to mechanical malfunction of the cab because the insurance may refuse to pay for your medical bills and how do you maintain a vehicle which is not supposed to be on the road in the first place?
But I am optimistic because there is a new young sheriff in town, Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty and I hope he will clean house, and he started by appointing DC Police Commander Cathy L. Lanier a young 39 year old single mother with an impressive accomplishment to be the next DC police chief. I am tired of the business as usual bullshit in the DC government and it's time to clean up those unqualified paper pushers who can't put two sentences together if your life depended on it.
In the mean while make sure you say your prayers before you step in to a DC cab but in case you get in to an accident and the insurance doesn't want to cough up that $50,000 maximum, now you know who to sue because the driver doesn't have jack!
Please don't forget to help the homeless before you get in to a DC cab.