Get Ready for More Small Talk With Cab Drivers in Arlington

By Mike Tunison
|  Friday, Oct 16, 2009  |  Updated 6:29 PM EDT
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Cabbie Cell Phone Crackdown

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Arlington County cab drivers have no one to talk to but you.

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Cabbie Cell Phone Crackdown

Taxi drivers in Arlington face stiff penalties if they are caught texting on talking on their cell phones while driving.

Cabbie Cell Phone Crackdown

Taxi drivers in Arlington face stiff penalties if they are caught texting on talking on their cell phones while driving.
More Photos and Videos

A cab ride is usually a great place to pick up a one-sided conversation a taxi driver is having with someone on the other end of his cell phone. But no longer, at least if you're riding in Arlington County.

That's because the county is issuing a ban on all cabbies operating in the county from using any communications device except for their dispatch. The first offense carries a $100 fine, with $500 fines for each subsequent offense.

And while the rule change was first enacted in June, the guy responsible for enforcing it isn't sure that any cracking down has actually been necessary yet, 

“I am not aware of any officer that has charged it yet, but I am certainly on the lookout for drivers in violation,” said Detective Matthew Owens, the hack and licensing specialist for the Arlington County Police Department.

Must be working like a charm then!

Meanwhile, no doubt spurred on by the trailblazers in Arlington, New York City officials are proposing bans on taxi drivers in the city from using hands-free Bluetooth devices and smart phones.

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