Uber driver abandoned teenager by roadside – because he had a guide dog
A taxi driver was fined for refusing to pick up a passenger and his guide dog.
Uber driver Sajjad Robani was found guilty by Bolton Magistrates’ Court on September 22 of breaking the 2010 Equality Act.
On February 12, 2020, Robani refused to pick up Callum Stoneman and his guide dog Iggy on a trip to Bolton.
Read more: Armed forces arrive at Greater Manchester fuel depot
Callum said the driver told him “no dogs” despite Iggy wearing a service dog harness.
The claim was also verified in court by an independent witness who saw the incident take place.
Driver Robini said in a statement he didn’t see anyone waiting at the pick-up address and saw an assistance dog, so he left shortly after.
Robini, 41, of Broadoak Lane, who did not appear for the court appearance, was fined £ 440 as well as £ 200 in costs.
Following the trial, Callum said, “I fully understand drivers who don’t want to carry pet dogs in their cars, and I have no problem with that, it’s their choice.
“However, when it comes to guide dogs or any other type of service dog, it’s a whole different matter.
“I didn’t have Iggy with me ‘just because’ that day I had her with me because I rely on her to move around independently.
“It’s incredibly frustrating and humiliating to be denied something as basic as a taxi, just to have a service dog (my eyes) with me.
“Unfortunately, this happens too often to blind people with guide dogs, and it has to stop. “
The Equality Act 2010 states that a driver cannot refuse to pick up a disabled person and their service animal.
Any driver who has refused a service animal risks permanently losing access to the Uber app.
A spokesperson for Uber said: “It is totally unacceptable that drivers refuse to take a guide dog and we are investigating every report.
“Licensed private drivers must transport service animals in their vehicle, unless they hold a medical exemption certificate from their licensing authority.
“We stress this obligation to all drivers before they start using the Uber app and often send reminders.
“Any driver who has refused to take a service animal will permanently lose access to the app. “
Councilor Hilary Fairclough, Executive Cabinet Member of the Bolton Council for Regulatory Services, added: “It is unacceptable for anyone to be discriminated against in this way.
“Taxi drivers have a legal obligation to accept assistance dogs in their vehicles, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so. In such cases, an exemption certificate is issued.
“Drivers are made aware of their obligations to passengers in their driver training. “
Get the latest Greater Manchester headlines straight to your inbox with our newsletters.