Wednesday, 25 June 2008 8:05 AM

Cab Driver Explains That 'Extra Passenger'

A cab driver has explained to Solomon Times that security is the reason why taxis carry around an extra man usually referred to as the 'crew' during their night shifts.

Mr Mickey Wale, an experienced cab driver said shortly after the period of the ethnic tension cab drivers started to experience an increase in the number of passengers trying to extort money from them during their night shifts.

He said after a number of cab drivers were violently confronted during attempted robberies they decided to carry extra passengers to provide them with night time security.

He said violent confrontations were often experienced in areas outside the Honiara City boundary particularly in faraway areas such as the CDC and Gold Ridge areas and other areas on the outskirts of Honiara.

"Going as far as east and west Guadalcanal is not that safe when you don't have someone with you in the cab. "It is not safe sometimes, because people might think that you have money with you, and the only way to get it is when you are alone," Mr Wale told Solomon Times.

He said because of this cab drivers usually avoided working in areas that are deemed risky, resulting in a loss of business. Mr Wale said a lot of cab drivers, including himself only stick to a few trusted clients for their night shifts and this makes other possibly good clients miss out on the chance to use taxi services at night.

However, on a more positive note, Mr Wale said late night taxi shifts are beginning to see a decline in attacks against them within Honiara and taxis are once again feeling safer to pick up different passengers during their night shifts.

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