Hungry cabbie didn’t catch a break

On October 25, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

By Jim Clark

While serving as the Street Commander at the SomerStreets event last Sunday, a uniformed officer observed a taxi pass through a road barrier that was clearly marked “ROAD CLOSED” in the middle of School St.

The officer stopped the taxi and asked the operator, Syed Kasmi, 47, of Nashua, NH, why he had chosen to ignore the road closure barrier and warning.

Kasmi told the officer that he was hungry and needed to park somewhere so he could get something to eat, according to reports.

The officer said that Kasmi became argumentative with him, and when directed to park his vehicle at a designated spot, where a citation would be written, the cabbie reportedly accelerated away from the area.

The officer gave chase on his bicycle and, because of the heavy traffic, was able to catch up with Kasmi near the intersection of Summer Street and Central Street.

When ordered to pull over, Kasmi reportedly refused at first but eventually complied, while the officer was thrown from his bicycle in the process.

The officer ordered Kasmi out of the taxi and he was placed under arrest, charged with failure to stop or yield.

Because Kasmi had parked his cab in a handicap parking place it was towed away and impounded.

 

5 Responses to “Hungry cabbie didn’t catch a break”

  1. Jey R says:

    Good, it’s about time people make these arrogant cab drivers pay.

  2. AusDoug says:

    Obviously some poor judgment from this guy, but I would hardly call letter sized printouts on small A-frames ‘clearly marked’. Somerville PD needs some new high-viz signage.

  3. Joanne says:

    I agree, AusDoug, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened before. Often you enter a street, with no signage, then half way down are met with a ‘road closed’ sign. There is absolutely no ‘detour’ information. If you are not from the area, what are you to do? If Highland is closed, you can’t simply go to the next cross street, or the next, because they will all be closed. A friday afternoon robocall and a couple of saw horses with signs, manned often by out of town police who cannot give you any help are simply not adequate.

  4. Boston Kate says:

    ” but I would hardly call letter sized printouts on small A-frames ‘clearly marked’. ”

    Well, the cabbie didn’t say that he didn’t realize the street was closed, he gave an excuse as to why he ignored the sign.

  5. AusDoug says:

    That’s a fair point Boston Kate. I don’t doubt that he knew he was in the wrong, and he certainly acted badly.

    That being said, in my opinion, a road-blocks with accompanying signage should be 1) unable to be traversed by a vehicle without collision (unless admitted by an officer); 2) have robust, unmistakable signage with equal or greater visibility to a normal road sign; 3) placed such that there is turnaround room available for a vehicle that has met the block in error.

    I feel the cab shouldn’t have been able to simply drive around the barrier at all. Also generally I think MS Word print-out signage is ambiguous, because it does not look at all like standard road signage. I doubt construction works carried out by a private company would be allowed to have detour signage as poor as what I saw.

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