Court Fines Taxi Driver for Refusing Seeing-Eye Dog Passenger

YERUSHALAYIM -

An Israel taxi driver who refused a ride to a blind passenger because he didn’t want her seeing-eye dog to mess up his car was slapped with a heavy fine by the Yerushalayim Magistrate’s Court, Arutz Sheva reported.

The Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities filed a lawsuit on behalf of Orah Darsha, who has been awarded 10,000 shekels ($2624) in compensation.

Avrami Torem, Commissioner for ERPD, hailed “the verdict as an important milestone in the struggle for equal rights for people with disabilities in general, and to eradicate the unacceptable phenomenon of discriminatory acts against blind persons accompanied by seeing-eye dogs in particular. On all public service providers, each has a responsibility to provide service to people with disabilities too.”

The driver’s refusal was judged to be in violation of the Equality Act, which provides for the rights of people with disabilities to join in an equal manner and participate in all areas of life, as well as maintaining an obligation to provide an appropriate response to their special needs in a way which would allow them to live their lives with maximum independence, privacy, and dignity.