Wrexham taxi driver sued for refusing to transport service dog


Wrexham.com > News

Job : Fri, November 11, 2022

A Wrexham taxi driver has been prosecuted after refusing to carry two blind customers while they were accompanied by a service dog.

Mr Ali Raza Kiani, of Pendinas, Wrexham, was prosecuted was fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,080 in costs for the breach, which happened late at night in January 2022.

Wrexham Magistrates’ Court heard the customers had booked the vehicle to return home from Wrexham.

When Mr. Kiani arrived at the pick-up location, he refused to let the dog into the vehicle on the grounds “that the vehicle was equipped with leather seats”.

The customers were fully aware of their rights under equality legislation and advised the driver that it would be an offense if he refused to transport the dog.

They informed him that they would keep the dog out of the seats. Mr Kiani called his operator, Speedy Cars, to send another vehicle, but then drove off and left the customers.

When questioned by Council licensing officers, Mr Kiani claimed he did not know the dog was a guide dog.

The court heard the dog was wearing his high-visibility harness and reflective ‘guide dog’ identification badge at the time of the incident.

The court also heard testimony from clients who showed up to court with the dog.

The legislation allows drivers with a pre-approved “medical exemption certificate” to refuse to transport dogs, if it harms their health, but Mr Kiani had no medical exemption.

He was convicted of the misdemeanor of refusing to transport a customer with a guide dog contrary to the Equality Act 2010.

Cllr Terry Evans, Senior Member of Planning and Public Protection, said: ‘Taxi and private hire operators have clear responsibilities under the Equality Act, which protects the rights of people with disabilities.

“It is completely unacceptable for a driver to refuse to transport a passenger with an assistance dog.

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