Northern New York Newspapers
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Wed., Oct. 7
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Canton taxi service wants changes in village requirements


CANTON — The owner of a Canton taxi service has temporarily shut down his business and will close it permanently if the village does not quickly change its requirements for drivers.

“It’s tough to find someone with a perfect driving record,” said Eli D. Carrier, owner of Carrier’s Taxi. “I have one person left, and that’s me.”

Mr. Carrier told the village Board of Trustees Tuesday that he can no longer operate his business unless the village changes its rules that prevent a taxicab driver’s license from being issued to anyone who in the last five years has been convicted of any traffic infraction, misdemeanor or violation, involving the use of a motor vehicle.

Mr. Carrier has been in business for a year, offering 24/7 service mostly in Canton and Potsdam to anywhere a passenger wants to go. He said he has few problems with the bulk of Canton’s law regulating taxicabs and likes the background check that is done on potential drivers.

But he believes a state Department of Motor Vehicle license for drivers should be adequate. Any village involvement in the records of his drivers should at least be consistent, Mr. Carrier said. He cited several cases in which vehicular crimes were not picked up by the village and others in which licenses were denied for trivial violations, such as not wearing a seat belt.

One of his drivers was issued a license, which was then revoked when Mr. Carrier, to make his point about inconsistency, pointed out a violation that had been missed.

Along with changes to the law, Mr. Carrier asked Tuesday for immediate waivers for two drivers.

Trustees told Mr. Carrier they were unable to break their own law to give his drivers a waiver but that they would consider revisiting the ordinance and do it with some speed.

“I’m all for changing stupid laws, but the integrity of the process is important to me,” Trustee Mary Ann Ashley said.

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