A partially-sighted Hemel Hempstead resident filmed his run-in with a taxi driver who didn’t want to give him and his guide dog a lift.
Colin Perreira said the incident was far from an isolated one, and he decided to film this particular case as an example of the treatment he experiences from cabbies on a regular basis.
In the video, Colin, 22, walks across an icy Apsley Station car park towards a cab he ordered, and is told “You’re not allowed dogs” by the driver.
When Colin explains that his dog is in fact a guide dog, the driver claims he is allergic.
Colin responds: “Can I see your medical exemption certificate?”
The driver says he doesn’t have it in his car, to which Colin replies: “If you don’t have one to prove it to me then you can’t refuse, unfortunately. It’s against the law.”
The driver continues to claim he is allergic, and asks why Colin didn’t mention his guide dog when he ordered the cab.
Colin explains “Because this happens, that’s why I don’t say. Because of these problems.”
It’s only once Colin tells the driver he’s on video that he proceeds to get out and help Colin and his dog into the car.
Having posted the video on Facebook, Colin explained: “Many of my friends on here have heard of and seen my posts about being refused taxis but many of you do not know how this actually plays out, how it goes down, what it looks like and how it feels.
“I have many times where I have to argue the case, which I never should have to. These are what I like to call ‘near misses’, whereby the driver threatens not to take me because I have my guide dog Sid with me but eventually does.”
Under the Equality Act 2010, guide dogs and other assistance dog owners are legally allowed access to businesses and premises. The law carves out a special section for taxi and private hire vehicles which states that a driver must carry a disabled person and their dog also without any extra charge for the dog. The only exception is that of medical exemption and this must be applied for and granted and in place to be able to justify a refusal.