Proposed medical charges for disabled cabbies branded discriminatory

Disabled taxi drivers in Dundee could be hit with a £50 charge for obtaining a medical exemption negating them from a section of the 2010 equality act.

The act currently states that if a taxi driver operates a wheelchair accessible vehicle, he must, without charge, assist the passenger in and out of the vehicle, if they are disabled or are in a wheelchair. It is a criminal offence to refuse to carry out that particular duty.

Taxi drivers can obtain a medical exemption from this particular aspect of law, if the driver is disabled themself. 

Dundee council have informed drivers that if they wish to be exempted from assisting wheelchair users on medical grounds, drivers will now have to pay £50 to the council to have this application processed.

One union has stated that this is discriminatory against drivers who may suffer from a disability or have mobility problems.

There are also concerns that because some drivers operate non-wheelchair accessible vehicles and some do, those who drive WAVs will be penalised for the vehicle that they drive.

It is alleged that because a GP has to assess a driver and fill out the exemption form, which could cost a driver £100, the true cost of this added burden could reach £150.

The council will make a final decision on the proposals in September.

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