Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) wants people to stay safe this Christmas and has urged people to “grab a cab” if they are having a drink.

Chief executive officer Benjamin Wash says the choice is simple, “If you drink, you can choose between a ride in a taxi or a ride in a police car!”

TCQ has also issued 4 SAFE tips to help customers enjoy the festive season and reduce taxi waiting times over the busy holiday period, while asking people to be patient and respectful to each other – and to cabbies.

“It’s a busy time for taxi drivers but also a time that requires us all to work together, due to the peak demand,” Mr Wash said.

TCQ advises customers to follow their SAFE tips.

S – Secure Ranks: Remember that on Friday and Saturday nights, secure ranks operate in many busy night precincts across Queensland. In Fortitude Valley the Warner St rank also operates an optional ‘zone’ system, where a maxi-cab can be shared with others going in the same direction for a pre-paid agreed fare. Rank supervisors will assist you at all secure ranks.

A – Apps: Reduce waiting time and beat the queue by using an authorised smartphone app to book your taxi. Apps are found at or on the website of your local taxi company. It’s faster than a phone call and you will be able to monitor the taxi’s progress as it nears. Warning – Do NOT use unauthorised apps (apps not linked to a taxi booking company) as these are not directed through the taxi company’s booking process and can risk your personal safety. Make sure the app carries the same logo as the taxi.

F – Fare: No cash – No card – No cab! Taxi fare evasion is illegal. If a driver believes you do not have the ability to pay, you can be refused or asked to prepay. Drivers can also refuse to accept a passenger due to threatening or highly intoxicated behaviour.

E – Early: Christmas is a busy period for taxis. Book early and reduce wait times.