A senseless loss

On Saturday Morning April 29, 2017 at 1:00am Vijay Bhatia, 63 years old was beaten to death by a scumbag. This human garbage doesn’t deserve the notoriety that he seeks, so I refuse to name him. London Police haven’t release the motive yet, whether it was robbery or racially motivated, or just plain stupid anger; it doesn’t matter. A life was needlessly taken. The police quickly apprehended a suspect nearby and interviewed many eye witnesses. The police knew there was a camera system installed in the cab, and it would aid them in their investigation. The pictures were quickly downloaded and confirmed the suspect in custody was the passenger.

Vijay was a man involved in the taxi industry for a long time. He was involved with the launch of Yellow London Taxi years ago, and he owned and operated several cabs. He had a family. I wish I could have met his wife, daughter and grand daughter, and brother in-laws under better circumstances. I was in a daze for most of the day but my in no way would I be experiencing the level of grief being experienced by the family at that moment, or even as you read this. Hopefully the family will find the answers they need from the trial and the solace in knowing that he will be in jail for life.

I don’t normally pontificate on this forum. That may change. I’m not one for getting my name in the paper; I’m not motivated by glory, rather, the betterment of my fellow cabdriver. What I will say is that something I created with Nando Favaro did something right. That creation is the camera system that took the pictures of Vijay’s murderer. Hundreds of clear pictures that will help seal the murderer’s fate, along with the forensic evidence collected at the scene and in the car.

Recently the City of London passed a new bylaw to regulate Uber. The most contentious issue at the time was the requirement for all Ubers to have cameras in their vehicle. This requirement passed committee and first reading. Uber mounted strong opposition for the second and final readings. Uber argued that it wasn’t necessary because their drivers were paid by credit card and they could comfort knowing exactly who their passenger was. Unfortunately for this arguement, the Manager of Licensing proved that all the passenger information could be faked. The City of London councilors chose to ignore that fact. Uber also argued that robbery was the only motivation for assault and murder and Uber drivers would be immune to this because they are cashless. Many assaults and murders on cab drivers are motivated by hate and prejudice. Uber drivers recommend to each other that they buy their own dash cam and aim them inwards to protect themselves.

The camera system installed in Vijay Bhatia’s cab and in every other cab and limousine virtually guarantees the conviction of any other animal contemplating assaulting a cabbie or doing worse. Uber drivers should be afforded the same security as cab drivers.

Vijay Bhatia deserves not to have died in vain. Lets have the council do the right thing and mandate cameras in every vehicle for hire.

Jason Kukurudziak
President
London Taxi Association

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Proposed bylaw for Public Participation Meeting

Here is the proposed bylaw. Please read and email office@londontaxiassociation.ca if you have questions.

proposedbylaw

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New inspection requirements as of July 1, 2016

Passenger / Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard
Summary of Changes Effective July 1, 2016
Effective July 1, 2016, licensed Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations will be required to use the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard for vehicles that require a safety standards certificate. The Ministry of Transportation in conjunction with Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO) will be conducting information sessions across the province to introduce the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard and the regulation changes. For information and to register for a session near you, please visit the AARO website.

These are free public information sessions, registration is required
An AARO membership is not required
These sessions will address the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection changes only

This is a summary of major changes that come into effect on July 1, 2016 – please refer to the Passenger / Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard for the full description of inspection criteria.

Technicians must complete the vehicle inspection in accordance with the full Passenger / Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard referenced in Ontario Regulation 611.

Section 1 – Powertrain

New requirements have been added to the powertrain system, including: accelerator pedal, throttle actuator, exhaust system, drive shaft, differential, clutch, clutch pedal, engine and transmission mounts, gear shifter/ selector and position indicator, drive belt pulley, electric and hybrid electric powertrain, gasoline and diesel fuel systems, and compressed natural gas and propane fuel systems.

Section 2 – Suspension

There are new ride height, bushing, and shock / strut requirements. There are also new requirements for air suspension components and suspension system travel.

Section 3 – Brakes

There are new requirements to measure and record the dimensions of brake components including drum, rotor and brake lining.
There is a better distinction between various types of brake systems — the criteria are now more closely aligned with the specific requirements for each of the various system types. (e.g. vacuum assist, hydraulic assist, air assist).
There are new requirements for Anti-lock Brake System (ABS).
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems are now required for light duty vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2011. The system must function as intended for those vehicles that require the system.

Section 4 – Steering

Rack and pinion steering system requirements, including associated parts (boot, bellows, clamps) have been added in addition to those for recirculating ball type.
New requirements for upper strut bearings, steering dampener, tilt/telescopic hardware, remote steering systems, hydraulic power steering system pump and associated components and minimum parts quality and maximum leakage requirements have been introduced.
Steering lash requirements have been simplified.

Section 5 – Instruments and Auxiliary Equipment

New requirements have been added for horn switch, speedometer, odometer, windshield wiper.
Limits on coolant leakage from all heaters and fuel leakage from auxiliary heaters were added.

Section 6 – Lamps

Lighting requirements have been changed to incorporate the lighting equipment required by the federal safety standard at the time the vehicle was new.

Section 7 – Electrical

The revised section provides requirements for vehicle wiring.
Requirements for the vehicle’s battery are provided. Battery, posts, connections, mounts, and covers must be tight and free from corrosion, deterioration, or evidence of burning. All equipment must be secure, comprised of OEM-quality components, and in good condition.

Section 8 – Body

Specific requirements have been introduced to deal with a loss of structural integrity of cab, cargo or passenger body, frame or sub-frame, tailgate, bumper, seats and seat belts due to specified weaknesses, deficiencies, damage, seizure, wear, loss of components or material or improper repair procedures.
New requirement to inspect equipment, latches, handles, door openers, hinges and other devices attached to the vehicle. All equipment must be in good working condition, not be missing, nor present an unsafe or hazardous condition to individuals who may be exposed to the vehicle.
New requirement to inspect the entire area of the windshield swept by either the driver’s or passenger’s side wiper, with limits specified.
Window tint requirements are part of the new standard.
Occupant protection systems required by federal law must now be tested for functionality via the vehicle telltale diagnostic lamp. The system check includes, when originally equipped, air bags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and side air bag curtains.

Section 9 – Tire and Wheel

The new requirement fails a tire if any single point on a tire’s tread is below the minimum.
The minimum required tread depth has increased.
No mixing of radial with other tire construction types (such as bias ply) is permitted.
The use of wheel spacers is now prohibited, although adaptors are permitted if they are in good mechanical condition.

Section 10 – Coupling Devices

Clearer distinctions between various types of hitch systems with more complete criteria aligned with specific requirements for each hitch type.

Section 11 – Road Test

A section has been added to the Standard to capture the elements that should be inspected and recorded during a road test of the vehicle including: tell-tales, shock absorber functionality, odometer, steering, etc.

General

An inspection report must be provided to the consumer, noting important information about the results of the inspection, including measurements for specified components (e.g. tire tread depth); and, any warning lamps that are illuminated. Licensees or Technicians can create their own report provided it meets all the requirements set out in section 9.1 of Regulation 601.

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London Taxi Association now on Twitter!

Follow us on twitter @LTA_london_on

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Uber in London

The London Taxi Association is aware that Uber plans on entering the market “soon.”

If you are considering becoming a driver for Uber, read these articles from Toronto: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/06/29/does-uber-have-you-covered

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/03/22/crash-leaves-toronto-uberx-driver-confused-about-insurance.html

from a broker:

http://www.kennedyinsurance.ca/uber-drivers-passengers-face-serious-legal-insurance-consequences/

and the Ontario Government:

https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/auto/Pages/ridesharing-info.aspx

Do your own homework and talk to your insurance broker. Don’t get burned.

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Important Correction

Please note the following important correction: Downtime is payable for up to *7* days, NOT 10. This was a misunderstanding on my part.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Jason Kukurudziak

President

London Taxi Association

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Requirements for LTA insurance program

Insurance is provided by Creggan Insurance Brokers.  The London Taxi Asssociation is the master policy holder.

This is a listing of the documents required to be insured with the LTA insurance program:

Drivers must have an abstract that is no older than 6 weeks old, a photocopy of the London taxi drivers license and Ontario drivers license, and an experience letter. The experience letter must state at least 1 year of commercial experience OR 3 years of private insurance.

Abstracts may have no more than 4 lines of offenses, totaling no more than 6 points.

If you are a car owner you must bring a copy of the Business License, Vehicle Ownership, a photocopy of all drivers London taxi drivers license and Ontario drivers license and experience letters for all drivers (1 year commercial/3 years private).  Forms take only a few minutes to fill out.

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Finding the LTA office

The office is located in the South tower of the TD Canada Trust towers, 6th floor, office #628.

The easiest way to find us is to park at the taxi stand located at the South side of Dundas and Wellington ST. across from Crabby Joe’s.  Walk past the Tim Hortons into the glass doors, past the security kiosk, keep left and go to the group of 6 SILVER elevators.  Come to the 6th floor and see the receptionist.

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Update from the City of London Licensing and Enforcement office

Jan 16, 2015
Good morning;
Please share this email with anyone you feel would benefit from its message.
On behalf of Orest:
Further to my email of November 18, 2014 (below), I have attached a copy of Bill 53 titled “Protecting Passenger Safety Act, 2014” which received First Reading in December 2014.  The Purpose of Bill 53 is to “amend the Highway Traffic Act to increase the penalty for transporting a passenger for compensation without a licence, permit or authorization.”
The explanatory note for the Bill  is as follows:
“The Bill amends the Highway Traffic Act with respect to the offences related to picking up a passenger for the purpose of transporting him or her for compensation without a required licence, permit or authorization in section 39.1 of the Act. The fine for these offences is increased.
A person who picks up a passenger for the purpose of transporting him or her for compensation without a required licence, permit or authorization also receives three demerit points. If an officer believes on reasonable and probable grounds that a person has committed this offence after having been convicted of the same offence within the preceding five years, the officer shall suspend the driver’s licence and impound his or her motor vehicle for 30 days.”
Over that past few weeks, there have been inquiries to our office with respect to unlicensed transportation activities proposed in London.   I am forwarding this information for the purposes of open, continuous communications with London’s licensed drivers, owners and brokers.
Please call our office if you have any questions.
Thank you,
Orest  Katolyk
Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer
City of London
Catherine DeForest
Manager, Business Services
Development & Compliance
THE CITY OF LONDON
T: 519.661.2500 ex 1541
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Warning from the City of London Licensing and Enforcement Office

November 18, 2014

Good morning everyone,
On behalf of Orest:

Brokers:

Recently the City of London participated in a national conference call regarding vehicle-for-hire online apps which are being used in various forms across municipalities globally. At least a dozen municipalities participated in this conference call including Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. We were advised about a national marketing scheme to advise the public of some of the dangers of these taxi apps. A website titled www.taxitruths.ca has been established as well as the presence of full-page ads in the Globe and Mail.

As the London taxi industry knows, the City of London has introduced a number of regulations in an effort to focus on safety and consumer protection with respect to the vehicle-for-hire services in the city. The city will continue to use a zero tolerance approach in dealing with illegal vehicle-for-hire services operating in London. Should any existing licensed driver be charged with an offence in connection with these illegal apps, recommendations will be made to the Licence Manager for immediate revocation of their taxicab licence.

Please contact the Licensing Office should you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,
Orest Katolyk
Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer
City of London

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