ISHIKAWA (TR) – A taxi company was penalized on Tuesday over one of its drivers refusing to pick up a man and his guide dog because it would’ve made the seats “dirty.”
The Kinjo Sanwa Transportation taxi company was ordered by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s Shin-Etsu bureau on Tuesday to ground four taxis for 14 days over a male driver refusing to transport a man and his guide dog on March 3 in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, the Asahi Shimbun reports (May 27).
When the man tried to board the taxi in front of a department store in the Musashi area at around 2:30 p.m., the driver allegedly refused because his “guide dog’s hair would make the seats dirty,” according to the Mainichi Shimbun.
A review of Kinjo Sanwa Traffic last October also found that four of its drivers over 65 had not taken assessment tests, and proper training was not given for its mechanics. The ministry said the penalty delivered on Tuesday accounts for all of the violations including the refusal.
Kinjo Sanwa Traffic said the male driver in question accepted the company’s request to retire on Friday.
The taxi company told the Mainichi that it “hopes to raise awareness of guide dogs among employees.”
“Our mission is to transport, but the ride refusal caused a great deal of inconvenience,” said Michinari Iwamoto, president of Kinjo Sanwa Traffic. “The driver and the company are greatly sorry.”