The Taxi Council of Queensland says violence against taxi drivers and vehicles must stop before more people are injured or killed.
Taxi Council CEO Benjamin Wash has revealed a young driver feared for his life in an incident over the weekend that saw a mob of drunken partygoers attack his vehicle.
Mr Wash said alcohol-fuelled violence against taxis is increasing and that drivers will simply refuse early morning jobs if they believe the risk is too great.
In an incident at around 12:30am on Saturday morning, a driver responded to a call at Paddington and reported seeing “about 70 people on the road”.
In a statement to police he described being blocked as his taxi was surrounded.
“I then saw a male about 18 years old……jump on the bonnet of my taxi. (He) hit the front window of the taxi with his closed fist two times,” the statement reads.
“I then observed other persons move close into the taxi. I then felt the taxi being hit from the left, right and at the rear.”
The driver explained that he said nothing to the group out of fear for his safety. He believes there is at least $2000 damage to the vehicle.
Mr Wash said while the Taxi Council is working with government and taxi companies to improve driver safety, incidents like this can only be stopped through a whole-of-community effort.
“Some of those people at the party should have stopped their friends and stood up for what is right,” he said.
“All the legislation in the world won’t stop violence when people have such little respect for the property and lives of others.”
Mr Wash also believes the police and courts have an important part to play.
“The urgency of our investigations and the penalties given to offenders must send a message that this is unacceptable.
“Taxis provide safe and secure travel to hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders every day. As a community we must work together to protect these drivers.”