Anyone guilty of vomiting in, or otherwise soiling, a Calgary cab from here on out will be facing a hefty fine, thanks to a new amendment to the city’s existing bylaw.
Previously, taxi drivers had the legal right to fine passengers up to $100 to cover the cost of cleaning their vehicle if a passenger made a mess, intentionally or otherwise.
During a city council meeting on Monday, it was agreed that the maximum amount should be raised to $250, as some councillors argued that $100 was not enough to cover both the cleaning costs and the potential loss of income from the cab being off the roads.
“It was identified $100 really doesn’t do a whole lot, other than wash their car, and there’s loss of wages with their car being off the road for a day,” Councillor George Chahal stated when introducing the amendment on Monday.
“So $250 was a number I think that would ensure that drivers are recouped for their expenses.”
Councillor Ward Sutherland was in agreement with Chahal, saying that $100 is not enough money to clean a car that has been vomited in.
“I can support this because I know detailing of cars is roughly about $150, $125, so if you add this mess into it, it would actually be higher.”
Not all of city council was agreed, however, with Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart calling the suggested change a “slippery slope.”
“Council, please don’t support this,” she said, following Chahal’s statement.
“We heard that $100 was reasonable to the consumer, and this is a slippery slope, if we start doing this sort of thing and pulling a number out of the air like $250, $350, whatever, so please don’t support it.”
The amendment was ultimately passed in a vote of 11 to 4, with Councillors Colley-Urquhart, Jeff Davison, Peter Demong, and Evan Woolley standing opposed.
That $250 fine is definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind as the Stampede approaches this summer.