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Safety for Women travelling Alone by Taxi

Updated on April 11, 2013
Can you tell the difference? Be safe. Choose a fast black taxi.
Can you tell the difference? Be safe. Choose a fast black taxi.

Safety for women travelling alone by taxi is something a lot of people haven't considered.

It is of especial importance that women travelling alone only used a licensed taxi.

The actual word ‘taxi’ has been misused by the Press so often that the public think of private hire/minicabs as being the same thing as a taxi, but this is not the case.

  • A taxi is licensed as a 'taxi'.
  • It will say ‘licensed taxi’ on its plate and will have a roof sign or light saying TAXI.
  • If the vehicle that turns up for you does not have those things, it is not a taxi, and you can refuse to use it.
  • You asked for a taxi and nothing less will do.
  • Women are so much safer travelling by taxi than they are by any other means.

Unfortunately, I have witnessed many women who under the influence of alcohol after a night out, will jump into any car that stops believing it to be a taxi.

People who grow up with those other pretenders, the private hire or minicab trade, cannot recognise a taxi as they think that any saloon type car is one.

While yes there are many private hire drivers who do a good job of what they do, there are many others who know they are anonymous and can get away with anything.

Many young women have been raped or murdered after entering what they thought was a taxi at the end of an evening out.

Some legitimate private hire cars (minicabs) have gone so far as to fit a roof sign with their phone number lit up, and I wish this would get clamped down on because women with a drink in them have mistaken the roof sign for a taxi and got in, without them having been phoned and pre-booked first.

Councils believe that they can give someone with a criminal conviction a private hire driver’s license where they wouldn’t allow them a taxi driver’s license to be granted, because all private hire bookings, under Law, can be traced back to the driver.

Taxis can pick up off the street and so have a certain anonymity.

For that reason, the taxi driver has to be above suspicion as he is in a position of trust.

It is very unusual for a taxi driver to have any criminal past at all, and any he has will have been put under the microscope to ensure he is a ‘fit and proper person’ to be trusted with members of the public, many of whom, like lone women, are vulnerable.

Ladies taxi. The word TAXI on the roof sign is important as this distinguishes it from a private hire
Ladies taxi. The word TAXI on the roof sign is important as this distinguishes it from a private hire

Private hire drivers are not put under the same microscope as they are not permitted by law to pick up off the street – though many do, anyway.

Unfortunately, it has already been exposed time and time again that many private hire drivers are not fit to be in charge of the public, owing to criminal pasts, including, in some cases, rape, murder and fraud as well as drug convictions.

It is worth noting here than a street pick up will null and void their insurance, which does not cover such pick-ups. This means in event of accident, the passenger is NOT COVERED.

Women travelling alone should always use properly licensed taxis when out and about, and as an added precaution should take a note of the license number of the taxicab which should be printed on the doors as well as inside the cab.

There are women only taxi companies that they can phone if they are especially nervous, but to be honest, your average taxi driver is above suspicion and should be trusted implicitly.

a lit up taxi for hire sign - a welcome sight for many women late at night
a lit up taxi for hire sign - a welcome sight for many women late at night


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    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      We've all made mistakes in the past, but this is really is great advice for staying safe in the future :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Excellent tips! I'll certainly keep these things in mind... I've made some stupid mistakes in the past =___=

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      Stay safe. Always used a licensed taxi, and in areas where there are only minicabs, always phone and book a cab.

    • Brigitte Thompson profile image

      Brigitte Thompson 

      7 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thank you for this great hub.. we need more stories like this to help educate ourselves. I will pass this along to my daughter.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      I hope so, because thousands of women are raped every year after getting into unlicensed cars thinking they are taxis.

    • Tweetmom profile image


      7 years ago from Newark

      Oh gosh i never knew such thing could happen. It is dangerous for woman to go anywhere alone these days. Thank you for the warning. Hopefully by reading this hub, woman will be more aware of their safety.


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