> home | aims | attitudes | how to |
how to > wheelchair | mobility | hearing | visual |
> conclusions | acknowledgements |
[Taxi Training project logo]


There are 4.3 million people with mobility problems in the UK. The majority of these are elderly. Mobility impaired people include those who have difficulty using steps, bending, reaching, standing for long periods, walking without resting and carrying heavy objects. Mobility impairment may also include those who are pregnant, carrying heavy luggage or pushing a pram. We have all been mobility impaired at some time.

  "Driver opened the door for me - this is the first time for me"  
  "Driver fastened the seat belt too - prefer this - to be helped"  
Quotes from Eddie who went on the journey
  "Some taxi drivers are scared about how to talk to people with disabilities, but you should treat everyone the same"  

Quote from a taxi driver who took part in the taxi workshop day

Still from the movie clip: Eddie on the edge of his seat
Get the Quicktime movie player Movie clip: Helping a person with a mobility impairment out of the cab
Broadband · Modem

At the beginning of the journey

Sometimes it will be obvious that the passenger has a mobility impairment, and the passenger will have clear difficulty in movement or be using some type of walking stick or other aid.

Sometimes, however, disabilities may be "hidden". For example, a passenger may have a heart condition or breathing difficulties. Some passengers who look fit and healthy may, in fact, have very painful joints and/or limbs with very little muscle strength or grip.

It will not always be possible for you, the taxi driver, to provide assistance. The decision must be yours. If you have an Exemption Certificate, it should be clearly displayed on the windscreen so that potential passengers know that the driver does not have to take people who require assistance.

Some people feel embarrassed to approach people with disabilities, but it's best just to talk to your customer and ask them if they need any help or support.

If required, help with the passenger's luggage and with securing the seat belt.

During the journey

Going over speed bumps and potholes too fast can cause unnecessary additional discomfort for people with painful joints. So try to slow down at speed bumps. The taxi driver sits above the wheel and so the impact of the bumps is not the same.

At the end of the journey

Passengers with disabilities affecting their hands may take longer to pay their fare because of difficulty in handling coins and notes quickly. Be patient.

If asked to give physical support, do not grab the passenger by the elbow and apply a vice-like grip, as this can be very painful. Instead offer your arm for the passenger to hold. Effectively, this makes you into a mobile grab rail.

Some of the material on this page is adapted with permission from Disability Awareness - A National Training Organisation Guide for Drivers published by TRANSfED - Passenger Transport Forum for Employee Development.

[left arrow icon]previous page - how to     [right arrow icon]now you know - next page