Taxi drivers ordered to remove ‘racist’ green lights
The National Transport Authority has ordered taxi drivers in Dublin to remove green lights from their roof signs, because they could be seen as being ‘racist.’
As first reported in The Journal, numerous pictures of taxi cabs that have bright green lights on their roof signs have surfaced online over the past few days. There have also been a flood of reports that the green lights seem to have become a trend amongst drivers in recent weeks.
But why green lights? Apparently, they’re a not-so-subtle way of letting potential passengers know that the driver is Irish.
Bosses from the taxi workers’ union have said that they are unaware of the green lights, but they will immediately ban the practice if it is as widespread as reports are claiming.
The National Transport Authority (NTA), which regulates taxis in Ireland, has also expressed surprised and said that it had no knowledge of the practice. However, the NTA warned that the lights are against the law and must be removed, otherwise drivers could get in some serious trouble.
“Any such lights, regardless of the reason for their display, are contrary to rules relating to customising taxi roof signs and should therefore be removed,” said a spokeswoman from the NTA.
She was also quick to express the NTA’s stance on racism:
“The authority takes any incidences of discrimination extremely seriously and refers all such matters to the authorities with the power to investigate such complaints such as the gardaí or the Equality Authority,” she added.
The National Taxi Drivers’ Union has said that it too was unaware of the use of green lights, but that either way the lights should not be used as a way to discriminate against fellow drivers.
“I have officials on most ranks and nothing has been reported back to me but the practice should be eliminated if it is there,” said John Ussher, a spokesman for the union.
“If there’s a trend developing out there and they think they are going to advertise Irish we’d be totally against that. We in the Irish Taxi Drivers’ Federation would be very quick to go about our members and stamp it out,” he added.
Have you noticed any taxis in Dublin with green lights?