Vancouver taxi driver tells couple not to buckle baby in car seat

A Vancouver couple is demanding a change to the rules that allowed a taxi driver to tell them they couldn't buckle their 18-month-old baby into a car seat.

Furious parents say exemption to safety rules need to change

Kyle Jackes and Andrea McDougall say a taxi driver told them not to put their 18-month-old baby in a car seat. (Andrea McDougall)

A Vancouver couple is demanding a change to the rules that allowed a taxi driver to tell them they couldn't buckle their 18-month-old baby into a car seat.

Last week, Kyle Jacques and his wife Andrea McDougall got off a Greyhound bus and called a Vancouver Taxi cab to get to their Kitsilano home.

The couple said the driver helped strap Jacques — who uses a wheelchair — into the car. But as they went to buckle their 18-month-old child into a car seat they'd brought, Jacques says the driver asked them to stop.

"He turned around and said, 'You know, I'm on a timer, I can't wait around, so can you please take him out of the car seat and put him in your arms."

McDougall said she told the driver she preferred to have the child buckled in for safety, but he wouldn't listen.

"I was so mad," said McDougall. "I wanted to ream him out, but I just bit my tongue."

She said she managed to put her baby in the car seat as the taxi was driving them home.

Conflicting rules

ICBC says guardians are expected to ensure their children are restrained as per the Motor Vehicle Act's rules. 

"Guardians could be held partially responsible for the injuries sustained by a child in a crash if they are not properly restrained," said ICBC.

However, the Vancouver Police said cab drivers are exempt from the child seating and restraint rules — an exemption McDougall said needs to change.

"If you can't have your child in your arms in your own vehicle, why can you have it in a taxi?" said McDougall.

The pair says they filed a complaint with the company and plan to contact ICBC​.

A representative for Vancouver Taxi said the driver in the incident has been suspended and will have to take a remedial driving class. 

They said the couple has also been offered restitution. 

With files from Farrah Merali

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