Sarah, 19, booked a taxi through 13CABS. The cab picked her up at midnight from Clayton, for a 6km trip to a friend’s party in Huntingdale, but stopped a few streets short of the destination.
Sarah said the driver repeatedly propositioned her and “refused to take no for an answer”.
She eventually got out of the cab and complained the following day to 13CABS who, she said, ignored her complaint.
Sarah told her story to 3AW on Monday, after which 13CABS took action.
WA Today reported that in Perth alone, 11 taxi drivers were convicted of sexual assaults in 2011. By August 2012, there were already 10 Perth drivers whose licenses had been cancelled after allegations of sexual assault.
“Kym Daffen, a psychologist from Midland Women’s Health Care Place said many of her female friends no longer used taxis as a form of transport because of the reports of sexual assaults.
She recommended women not get into a taxi if they had been drinking alcohol.
“If it is happening so often, it seems the drivers are being opportunistic and if you are intoxicated, that’s really dangerous,” Ms Daffen said.
She said women should have a plan when they were having a night out that might involve catching a taxi.
Ms Daffen advised taking a photo of a taxi driver’s identification card and sending it through to a friend or phoning someone when getting into a taxi to let them know how far you are away.
“Stick to that plan and watch out for your girlfriends. If you do hop into a taxi after drinking, make sure you have a friend with you,” she said.”
In October 2012, The Age reported a Bendigo driver had been charged with rape and indecent assault. The driver put a hat over the taxi’s video camera before the assault occurred.
“The court heard during the bail application on Monday that Byrnes placed a hat over the taxi’s video camera during part of the alleged sexual assault.
Senior Constable Robert Goodman told the court Byrnes, a taxi driver of three weeks, tried to touch the woman several times while driving, before digitally penetrating her.
Police allege Byrnes parked in Kangaroo Flat and put his hat over the car’s camera before taking the woman from the vehicle and raping her.”
This story from the LA Times reports a taxi driver suspended over sexually assaulting a passenger. It’s pertinent to note how Manhattan Beach detective Michael Rosebberger explains the driver’s predatory techniques: he would open the front door of his cab for women so they would sit in the front seat and he could more easily assault them.
“The victim did not initially report the crime until she saw a news report of a similar offense occurring in Redondo Beach,” Rosenberger said.
News of Shenouda’s arrest prompted other women to come forward with information.
Rosenberger said Shenouda would offer rides to women who were walking in the evening. He would open the front passenger door so they would sit up front with him, making it easier to assault them, he said.”
The Geelong Advertiser reported in August 2012 the case of a 17 year old who was assaulted by a taxi driver. After she had got out of the cab, the driver walked around towards her, grabbed her around the waist and tried to kiss her. The young woman pushed him away and escaped. The man’s lawyer said ‘his client’s actions were simply a clumsy attempt to make an approach to a young woman.’
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Scott Bell, said Hussain had shown no remorse for his offending.
“The community expects that when people are travelling in taxis, especially 17-year-old children, they are safe from sexual assault,” he said.
“That is the reason people take taxis, but in this case it has resulted in the victim being assaulted by the driver.”
Hussain was convicted of indecent assault, fined $2500 and placed on the sex offenders register for eight years.