Call it a vomit violation.
Cab drivers in Victoria and throughout B.C. have a new tool to deal with over-served customers who leave a mess in their vehicles.
Under new rules from the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board, anyone who vomits in a cab can be charged a $75 cleanup fee.
“Passengers who soil or damage the interior of a vehicle with bodily fluids or solids may be required by driver or taxi company to pay a cleanup fee of $75 in addition to the meter rate or any other rate,” says the new standard rules for taxi regulation.
Surinder Kang, a manager with Yellow Cab in Victoria, says it’s an ongoing problem particularly in the downtown core on Friday and Saturday nights.
“It’s a recurring problem. If some one gets sick in the back of a car, drivers lose money because of it.”
Kang says it can take anywhere from two to four hours to get a taxi cleaned, but in the meantime drivers are off the road and not making any money.
The previous rule permitted drivers to bill for the cost of cleanup or repair, however, no amount was specified.
Kang welcomes the new charge, but admits cabbies could have problems recouping the fine from some passengers.
“It could be a problem,” he said, “but we have other avenues to collect, like calling the police.”
The so-called puke fee is in other locations across North America including Calgary, Toronto and Chicago.