New Arizona law requires background checks for cabbies - CBS 5 - KPHO

New Arizona law requires background checks for cabbies

Posted: Updated:

The last time you hailed a cab from the side of the road, there was no guarantee the driver passed a background check. That's because until recently, criminal background screening in Arizona wasn't required for all cabbies.

"That's correct. We have not had the authority to do so," said J.J. Stroh, an investigator for the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures.

Senate Bill 1375, which went into effect in July, requires background checks for all taxi cab drivers.

A cab driver from Peoria and his passenger are suspected of beating a 57-year-old man to death Sunday in a Sam's Club parking lot.

A supervisor for the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures said they will start auditing companies within the next few weeks, checking to make sure drivers have been properly screened. 

"That's another tool to ensure public safety," said Stroh.

The department will also check for valid licenses, registration and insurance, as it has in the past.

CBS 5 News called the Valley's three major taxi cab operators -- Discount Cab, VIP and AAA, which also runs Yellow Cab and Checker Cab -- to ask if and how they screen their drivers. 

Only Discount Cab answered our questions. 

"We exceed other companies' standards," said Jerry Mullen, West Valley general manager for Discount Cab.

He and other company representatives said they conduct state and federal background checks, a sex offender check, drug test and monthly checks with the Motor Vehicle Division.

Airport cabs have been under stricter requirements in recent years, including mandatory background checks and higher insurance levels, said Stroh.

The best way for consumers to make sure a cab is safe, he said, is to check for the state-issued decal on the rear window.   

"You would be safer because we would have checked all the documents. We do an annual check and sporadic spot checks throughout the year," said Stroh. 

 Copyright 2011 KPHO.  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
CBS 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation), Phoenix, AZ and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service..