To the driver of Checker cab #5557:
Just a quick note of thanks for not killing my wife and son today as you hurriedly attemped to pass their parked car on Lincoln Ave. (Yes, I have two sons, but I’m rather fond of the blonde one you nearly mowed down.) I’m so relieved that you weren’t hurt and that you were able to get to your next passenger 4/1000th‘s of a second before you otherwise would have. Think of the potentially lost income!
Also, I wanted to say thanks for the legal lesson you gave my wife. True, it might have been more effectively delivered if you were not screaming and gesticulating threateningly at her, but I admit that I have no law training so I’m not totally qualified to comment on your rhetorical strategy. One correction, though. It is not actually illegal for doors on the driver’s side to be opened into traffic when parallel parked. However, a friendly police officer to whom my wife spoke did note that it was her responsibility to make sure that she was not blocking traffic in any way when opening the door. Can you believe she was actually trying to put our toddler son into his car seat from the same side of the car that it is installed on? I mean, that’s just lazy. She clearly should have climbed over the other car seat on the other side of the car and inserted said toddler long-distance style. Who cares if that’s a physical impossibility. That’s what sun-roofs are for, right?
So, I apologize for any inconvenience. As soon as I get home tonight I will reprimand my wife both for her ignorance of the law and for showing such vehicular effrontery to you and the entire taxi driving community in Chicago. Please know that if I am ever in your cab in the future — #5557, easy to remember — I will make certain that my feelings on this matter are made even more forcefully than this letter permits me. You have my word on that.
PS – Given your legal acumen, we were wondering if you could outline the law’s position on stopping your cab in traffic to deliver a lecture on municipal parking regulations to a mom and her kid? Thanks!
John – You should file a complaint against #5557. I do work with the cab companies, and they are always interested in rooting out bad drivers. You file a complaint with the city, and usually it results in a fine, or taking the driver off the street for a week or so while they take a class (meaning no pay). Drivers HATE complaints, and when they get them, they really pay attention.
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