Taxi drivers exempt from booster seat law
Thunder Bay woman looks for answers about transporting children safely in taxis
Posted: Mar 1, 2013 10:36 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2013 10:28 AM ET
There's been no easy answer for a Thunder Bay woman, who wonders who bears the legal responsibility for ensuring small children are buckled up in a taxi.
When Ann Larocque went to take her great-grandson to an appointment last week, she was told by the taxi dispatcher the company didn't have a booster seat.
She decided to take the taxi, but later began to wonder, “What would have happened if we were stopped by the police?”
Larocque said her inquiries to Thunder Bay Police and other cab companies didn't provide any definitive answers.
“What does that do for the general public? Do we all take chances? Not everybody drives,” she said.
Police traffic sergeant Glenn Porter told CBC News cab drivers are exempt from the law that requires young children to be properly strapped in. However, the law doesn’t specify who is responsible. The same situation applies to school buses.
“When you think that the installation of these devices requires a certain amount of expertise and training, perhaps the legislators were thinking that's it's impractical to require that they have that responsibility,” Porter said.
Porter said police typically don't look for proper child restraints in taxis, since the driver can't be held responsible.
But a collision could potentially change that, he said.
"If there was a collision, every little detail is examined very closely, and this would be one of the factors that would go under the microscope, so to speak,” Porter explained.
City bylaw enforcement officers don't make a habit of checking for proper child restraints in taxis either, said Ron Bourret, city's manager of licencing and enforcement. Thunder Bay bylaws that apply to cab companies don't say anything about the matter — one way or the other.
Bourret did say the issue is one of many being examined by city officials and an international agency that's currently reviewing the city's taxi and shuttle regulations.
For Larocque, she’s hopeful answers will come sooner, rather than later.
“I'd like to see clarification, and then people know where they stand,” she said. “If I am responsible, then I just have to find another means of transportation.”
Latest Thunder Bay News Headlines
- Thunder Bay council spins wheels on bike lanes
- Thunder Bay city council's decision to delay a vote on proposed new bike lanes by a week could set the project back by a month. more »
- Half of First Nations children live in poverty
- Half of status First Nations children in Canada live in poverty, a troubling figure that jumps to nearly two-thirds in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says a newly released report. more »
- Bob Rae quits as MP in 'very emotional' decision
- Bob Rae, who has represented the Toronto Centre riding for the Liberals since 2008, is stepping down as a Member of Parliament to devote more time to his work as a negotiator for First Nations in Northern Ontario. more »
- Former counsellor, babysitter charged with sexual assault
- Thunder Bay police have charged a 46-year-old man with sex-related offences dating back to 1983. more »
Top News Headlines
- Obesity called a disease by U.S. doctors group
- The American Medical Association has voted to recognize obesity as a disease, while doctors in Canada say they also treat it as such. more »
- Neil Macdonald: Washington's obsession with leakers
- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are just the most prominent targets in an all-out legal and propaganda campaign that America's security apparatus is mounting against leakers everywhere, Neil Macdonald writes. more »
- How open is Ottawa's new 'open data' website?
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement is touting the federal government's revamped data portal as a "new natural resource." But that online window for previously published data arrives at the same time the government faces controversy over just how open it really is. more »
- 30,000 Canadians are homeless every night
- A new national report into homelessness in this country tells a grim story — at least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in any given year and least 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night. more »