Cabbie ‘watched United game while driv­ing taxi’

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By SO­PHIE HALLE-RICHARDS so­[email protected] @so­phiehrMEN

A WOMAN was left fear­ing for her safety af­ter claims a taxi driver spent an en­tire jour­ney watch­ing a Manch­ester United game on his phone.

Paula Neal, 31, had been trav­el­ling in a taxi booked through Club Cars in Wythenshaw­e, when she no­ticed her driver was pre­oc­cu­pied.

Pho­to­graphs show the male driver with one hand on the steer­ing wheel and one hand on his mo­bile phone, which is at­tached to the wind­screen.

He ap­pears to have been watch­ing the game be­tween Manch­ester United and Bournemout­h, which Paula claims was played dur­ing her jour­ney on Satur­day, Novem­ber 2.

The sup­port worker says the five-minute jour­ney from her work to the Civic Cen­tre left her feel­ing un­easy and fear­ing for both her own, and oth­ers,’ safety.

“The driver had his phone pinned to the wind­screen and was watch­ing the foot­ball,” Paula said.

“As we started mov­ing, I was ex­pect­ing him to turn it off but he didn’t and in­stead kept it run­ning the whole time.” Paula says she was with an­other pas­sen­ger and claims that when the pair started talk­ing, the driver turned the vol­ume on his phone up.

She said: “He was watch­ing the foot­ball and glanc­ing at the road, not watch­ing the road and glanc­ing at the foot­ball.

“I couldn’t be­lieve it and wasn’t re­ally quite sure how to re­act.

“If I had con­fronted him he would have had to take his hands and eyes off the road and prob­a­bly his hands off the wheel. Again.”

“Even though it was only five min­utes, the whole jour­ney just left me feel­ing re­ally un­safe,” Paula added.

Paula re­ported the mat­ter to Manch­ester coun­cil and says she is con­cerned af­ter notic­ing the driver is still on the road.

“I’ve had to can­cel the trip be­cause I don’t feel safe get­ting his car.”

In cor­re­spon­dence from Manch­ester coun­cil, Paula was told there was ‘in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence’ to sup­port any for­mal ac­tion against the driver. The M.E.N. un­der­stands the driver has been given a warn­ing.

A spokesman for Manch­ester coun­cil said they do not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases.

A spokesman for Club Cars said: “Although Club Cars do not con­done the ac­tions that have been al­leged, be­ing that a pri­vate hire driver is self em­ployed, the po­lice and li­cens­ing au­thor­ity are fully equipped to re­solve these kinds of is­sues.”

The driver filmed by Paula Neal, left, ap­par­ently watch­ing foot­ball on his phone

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