It is dangerous to be a taxi driver in Denmark.
A study by traffic authority Trafikstyrelsen showed that over a one year period, one out of every five taxi drivers suffered serious violence at the hands of their customers, and four out of five had been threatened.
Syed Amad Kazmi was attacked while on the job. He was standing outside of his taxi when someone asked for a ride. Kazoo explained that he was done for the night.
“It was quarter past four, and I was actually on my way home,” Kazmi told TV2 News. “As soon as I turned my back, he pushed me from behind at hit me in the face four times.”
Kazmi called the police, who gained access to video surveillance showing the episode.
“I hope they catch him.”
Kazmi, who has driven a nighttime taxi in Copenhagen for six years said that people have become noticeably more violent.
“The last few years I have noticed that it is not very pleasant, especially when driving at night,” he said. “People become violent, and you never know when. They are like a ticking time bomb.”
Trine Wollenberg, director of the taxi driver’s organisation Dansk Taxi Råd, was surprised at the level of violence drivers endure.
“We of course know that it can be a dangerous job, but the scale came as a surprise, even to those of us that know the industry well,” Wollenberg told avisen.dk.
A working group established in 2014 is about to launch now several safety measures to protect cabbies. Among other things they would like to see drivers trained in conflict resolution.