Chris Rose: New taxi rules - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Chris Rose: New taxi rules

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There's a group of cab drivers who work my corner every day, vital members of my community.

They pick up the litter that collects overnight. If a local is on hard times, they'll wave off the fare.

They're mostly independent drivers, currently struggling to survive against the big new taxi fleets that keep sprouting up in New Orleans.

One guy, Mo, he polishes his hood and shines his windows every day while he waits for his next fare.

He's got an '05 Lincoln Navigator that smells showroom new, runs like a tiger.

And it will soon be no use to him since the courts this week upheld a new city regulation that says cabs more than seven years old will be illegal.

If a guy's got a clean, solid ride, shouldn't he be able to work?

Isn't that what taxi bureau inspections are for? To determine if a cab is rickety, shabby, unworthy?

If that's not what annual cab inspections are for, then what is their purpose?

The rule seems arbitrary – as many new taxi rules do.

Like mandatory security cameras.

Maybe I'm paranoid. Maybe I've got a guilty conscious. Or maybe I'm just tired of being on camera all the time, watching what I buy in stores, watching me drive down the street, watching me walk down my sidewalk.

If I've come to New Orleans to cut loose for a few days, the last thing I would want is a camera recording my ride into the city, checking out my clothes, my companions and my conversations.

I'm not looking for a guest role on Taxi Cab Confessions.

If a driver wants one for his personal safety, that's his business.

If he doesn't – that seems like his business as well.

We're told these new rules are for our own sake and safety, and so the city looks nice and spiffy for the Super Bowl.

I could not imagine better ambassadors for New Orleans – to show our pride, hospitality, knowledge of and love for our city – than Mo and the other guys who work my block every day.

Too bad a bunch of them might be out of the business by the Super Bowl, unable to met the expenses of new, random and – in many cases – unnecessary legislation.

They're not looking for a free ride.

Just a fair shake.

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