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Taxi refuses a ride

Mr Anthony Clarke has a vision impairment and is accompanied by a guide dog.  Mr Clarke said that in August 2006, he was refused a taxi ride because he was with his guide dog.  The taxi is owned and operated by Mr Behrad.  The matter was referred to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal for a decision because it was not conciliated at the Equal Opportunity Commission.

The Tribunal found that Mr Behrad was liable for the driver's refusal to carry Mr Clarke and his guide dog.  The Tribunal found that the driver was acting as an agent of Mr Behrad when driving his taxi.  The Tribunal held that it was not enough for Mr Behrad to rely on the Taxi Driver Accreditation training in relation to the obligations of taxi drivers to carry guide dogs and that he needed to "take positive steps to ensure that the taxi drivers ...understand and comply with the requirements of the Equal Opportunity Act".

The Tribunal ordered that the Mr Behrad pay Mr Clarke $750.00 in damages for the distress he suffered as a result of the refusal.

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