Taxi Driver Safety

You Are in the Driver's Seat 

Cab drivers, due to the nature of their profession, are uniquely vulnerable to robbery.

Cab drivers must always be alert and be ready to act in order to reduce their chances of being robbed.

Robbery Prevention Starts With You


Cab drivers must be alert and vigilant to the prospect of robbery at all times. Cab drivers should be on high alert when any of the following circumstances present themselves:

  • You are working a late night shift, particularly after 11:00 p.m.

  • You arrive at a fare pick-up location and no one is there or it is an isolated location.

  • Your fare attempts to enter the front seat or shifts over behind you while enroute.

  • Your fare is wearing bulky clothes and is wearing their hood up during mild weather or throughout a long cab ride.

  • Your fare refuses to make eye contact or appears nervous.

  • Your fare provides you with a vague destination or changes the route while in transit.

  • You detect that your fare has been drinking or taking drugs.

  • Your fare becomes argumentative.

  • Your fare directs you to an isolated area.

  • Your fare attempts to lure you out of the cab at the beginning or end of the ride.

  • If two or more of these risk factors are present, use extreme caution.


  • Keep the trip record covered

  • Limit the amount of cash you are carrying at all times—use a bank machine

  • Keep your windows up and your doors locked until the fare presents themselves to the right rear door or you direct them there (Note: Never allow a fare to ride in the front seat when other seats are available-treat this as a pilot would the cockpit of their airplane)

  • Get in the habit of looking for a distinguishing piece of clothing or something that stands out about the person then make a mental note


Take charge of your fare and maintain control at all times.

  • No Fare Upon Arrival - do NOT exit the cab to look for your fare, have the dispatcher call them

  • Fare Attempts to Enter the Front Seat - keep the doors locked and direct them to the right rear door

  • Fare Gives You a Vague Destination – pick up your radio handset and tell them that you are required to notify dispatch of a street address prior to starting the fare

  • Passenger Begins to Position Themselves Behind You While Enroute - tell them to remain seated in the right rear passenger seat and ask them where they got their most identi able piece of clothing (e.g. jacket or hoodie) as you were looking for one just like it - this will interrupt a potential plan and strip them of their anonymity

  • Fare Changes Destination Enroute - notify dispatch immediately

  • Fare is Drunk, High on Drugs or Begins to Act Irrationally - activate your Call 9-1-1 alarm and drive to a place of safety where people are, exit the cab and call Police

Other Helpful Hints

  • Project an image of confidence and sureness-try to make eye contact with every passenger

  • Keep windows rolled up - open it just enough to talk to people

  • Always keep your doors locked, particularly if you are sitting at a cab stand or post. This will also prevent someone from entering your cab while you’re stopped at a stop sign or traffic light

  • Park in well-lit areas during down times

  • Avoid being blocked into dead-end streets, alleys and laneways-consider backing in

  • Keep your vehicle running in the event that things go wrong

  • Do not get out of your car and use the trunk release to open the trunk if needed

  • Know your location and nearest Police station or 24 hour facility

  • Trust your instincts

More on Money Handling

  • Limit the amount of money you show to passengers and never tell them you had a good shift.

  • Use an in-car point-of-sale unit that accepts all major credit cards, Interac and international bank cards to reduce the use of cash.

  • Never offer to change a large denomination bill.

In the Event of a Robbery

  • Comply with the demands - Do NOT resist.

  • After the robber leaves call 9-1-1, notify your dispatcher and activate your flashing alarm.

  • Note the direction of travel and a culprit description.

  • Move to a safe area, if need be, and wait for Police.


To report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or online at:

In An Emergency: Call 9-1-1.

To report a crime to the Toronto Police that is not an emergency call 416-808-2222.

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