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Taxi drivers gear up for NYE with ‘safety first’ motto

"We're all doing a service to the public and hopefully it's safety first for everybody," said Sharon Smith.
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Taxi drivers are gearing up for their busiest night of the year.

With the ticking of the clock comes the uptick in cab competition. WZDX News takes you on a ride with a driver who says when it comes to safety they’re all working together.
“It’s always a safety issue, you know,” said Sharon Smith with Huntsville Cab Company. “Somebody getting behind the wheel intoxicated, you’re taking all kinds of chances not only with you life but with someone else’s life.”

Smith sees first-hand why catching a ride is so important. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, two to three times more people die in alcohol-related car crashes during New Year’s.

Smith stays up late to get that number down.

“You can call a cab and that should be your first,” she said. “Even if you don’t have the money at times there are ways for you to get home safely.”

Safety is what she says is the priority even in a competitive industry. Now that ride-sharing apps are mainstream, Smith says Huntsville Cab Company has gotten less rides from the airport, but they’re staying competitive. And they don’t raise their prices on holidays.

On holidays like New Year’s Eve Smith doesn’t see other companies like Uber and Lyft as competition. To her they’re all working together to get people home safe.

“We’re all doing a service to the public and hopefully it’s safety first for everybody,” she said. Arrive home safely without any casualties and that’s the importance of calling a cab, an Uber, or a Lyft. That’s what we want to do. That’s the lifesaving mechanism and techniques we achieve everyday in doing for you all.”

New Year’s Day has been called one of the deadliest holidays for drunk driving. It may be the day after, but Smith and her colleagues work then too.

Local agencies are offering to tow your car home for free on New Year’s Eve.
Call AAA Alabama at 1-800-AAA-HELP or Morris, King, and Hodge P.C.‘s Tow-for-Life partner Barry’s Towing at 265-851-9778.