RIDE FROM HELL: Tracy Brown feels lucky to be alive after a hairy experience with a local Gladstone taxi driver.
RIDE FROM HELL: Tracy Brown feels lucky to be alive after a hairy experience with a local Gladstone taxi driver. Christopher Chan GLA191212TAXI

Taxi ride makes local mum think twice before calling again

MUM of two Tracy Brown relies on taxis to get around town.

But a recent experience has made her think twice when calling a cab.

Last week, Ms Brown ordered a Blue & White taxi to take her and her two children to the Valley Shopping Centre.

She said the ordeal began as soon as the cab pulled out from her Clinton address.

"The driver began driving erratically as soon as we got in the car," Ms Brown said.

"He'd speed up, and then put the brakes on really suddenly."

When the cab approached the hockey fields on Dawson highway, the driver went to turn right.

"I told him it was easier to go straight ahead and he ignored me," she said.

"He just went the way he wanted to go."

For Ms Brown, a near miss on a roundabout pushed her over the edge.

"He didn't give way on a roundabout," she said. "We narrowly missed a truck."

"If that truck had hit us, it wouldn't have been the driver, it would have been me and the kids."

Ms Brown said she wanted to get out.

"When I went to pay, he snatched my key card," she said. "I told him that as soon as I was out, I'd be speaking to the taxi company."

Ms Brown said it's not just her who is concerned about the driver in question. She reported the incident to the Department of Transport.

Company responds: Taxis have had no other complaints

BLUE & White Taxis chairman Allan Rowe said he has not had any previous complaints about one of his drivers.

Mr Rowe said he was aware of Ms Brown's experience and had spoken to her on the phone.

"I can understand why she would have been upset about the roundabout incident," he said.

"I have rung the lady and personally apologised to her. We have offered her a voucher to travel with us again."

In regards to the route taken by the taxi driver, Mr Rowe said the driver was not at fault.

"90% of our drivers would take that route to the valley," he said.

"The driver told me he was already in the turning lane before the customer asked him to go straight ahead."

Mr Rowe said his drivers have a responsibility to provide customers with a safe and comfortable ride.

Mr Rowe has been contacted by the Department of Transport in regard to the incident. A TransLink spokesperson said taxi complaints referred to the Department of Transport are assessed and referred to appropriate areas within the department.

"In this instance the complaint was referred to the passenger transport office in Rockhampton to be investigated that same day."

"Taxi booking companies are responsible and have the ability to issue drivers with warning letters and can suspend drivers from having access to bookings for taxi services. The Department of Transport and Main Roads has the ability to suspend a driver authorisation."