Complaints from Vicksburg, Miss., residents and taxi companies have moved police to crack down on bootleg cabs operating in violation of a local ordinance.
Police Chief Walter Armstrong tells The Vicksburg Post that police have received calls from some city residents complaining about the cabs, adding one resident has made several complaints about the illegal, unmarked vehicles driven by people who are unlicensed by the city.
“If we have a driver out there operating outside the scope of the rules set forth (by the city), it’s not fair to those persons following the rules,” Armstrong told the city’s Public Transportation Board this week. “We are in the process of stepping up enforcement. This is an area we want to make sure we’re taking a strong look at.”
He said officers will check for proper city vehicle for hire certificates and city cab licenses for drivers.
City-licensed cabs must have a taxi car tag issued by the state, a certificate of operation posted in the car’s window, and drivers must has a city cab driver’s license with their photo.
The city in 2013 toughened the vehicles-for-hire ordinance prepared by the Public Transportation Board in wake of complaints about illegal cabs operating in the city.
Three licensed cab companies are operating in the city – Executive, Pick Me Up Shuttle Taxi Service and Rocket Cab.
“We are being hurt by bootleggers,” said Roosevelt Harris, co-owner of Executive. “We have an abundance of people who are driving illegally.”
Sherita Manuel of Pick Me Up said the illegal operators don’t have enough insurance to protect them and their passengers in an accident.
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