Sacramento to Cab Drivers: Speak English

Sacramento is known as a Democratic Party stronghold, both locally and in state politics. Yet the River City has adopted adopted a rather conservative measure" requiring all taxi drivers in the city to speak English on the job.

In a unanimous, 9-0 vote, the Sacramento City Council passed new regulations that will force cabbies to "dress properly and demonstrate basic English skills." They must also accept credit cards, drive vehicles less than 8 years old, and pass basic arithmetic and navigational tests, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

The regulations were passed over the objections of the local taxi drivers' union, which is worried about costs.

Kazman Zaido, head of the union, exclaimed to ABC News last week: "Telling people to take showers!? To take an English test!?" 

Sacramento's city revenue manager, Brad Wasson, defended the new rules as necessary to keep the peace between taxi drivers--and their customers: "When a fare walks out, there have been fights. Fist-fights. That behavior is not good for Sacramento or for our hospitality industry," Wasson told ABC News.


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