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TAXI RULES: Why cabbies shouldn’t pick up passengers after being let out of a side road

Taxis offer residents and visitors alike a recognisable and dependable mode of transport. However, navigating the roads isn't just about following traffic laws for taxi drivers —it's also about adhering to an unwritten code of conduct that ensures fairness and respect among drivers.

There are many unwritten rules that form a code of etiquette, one of which includes not picking up passengers immediately after being allowed to merge into traffic by another taxi driver also looking for work. It's considered both unfair and disrespectful to accept a fare directly after this courtesy, effectively taking advantage of the driver's goodwill.

Drivers usually either bypass a passenger hail in such instances or, if possible, pull over to let the taxi behind carry on ahead of them once safe to do so.

The etiquette extends beyond road manners. Acknowledging a fellow cabbie with a 'thank you' yet proceeding to pick up a nearby fare can lead to frustration and conflict.

Drivers have developed their own methods to uphold this etiquette, including turning off their hire light until the other cab secures a passenger or diverting to a different road to continue plying-for- hire.

Most cabbies keep to the code, but mistakes sometimes happen and there are always a small minority that look to bend the rules. These rules are rooted in common sense and courtesy, and centre around the professional standards expected of London's taxi drivers.


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