Industry leader and California operator Maurice Brewster contributes insights to a Wall Street Journal article.
Chauffeurs are at risk due to many different factors that include working alone, the perception that you may carry a lot of cash, you are dealing with strangers, and language barriers.
Make sure you attempt to “read” your passenger and assess any possible threats to you by noting body language and listening to what is going on the back of your vehicle.
Make sure to stay in communication with your dispatcher and update them on your status and any potential concerns you have. They are your lifeline to help if something goes wrong. Develop enough of a relationship with them that if you are stressed they will sense it in a radio or phone conversation. Make sure that there is a code that can be used in a true emergency. At Limousine Scene, the code is 999. This code means that you need immediate law enforcement response to your current communication. If you need to, tell someone that you must report your status at periodic intervals and let your dispatcher know your status. Calmly tell the dispatcher that you need to update your status to “999.”
Be alert to your surroundings when parked in lots waiting for passengers. If you feel there is a threat while standing outside your vehicle, get inside and lock the doors. Don’t risk it. Always go with your gut instincts. Never display your cash to your passengers or anyone else. It is an invitation to rob you. If a passenger presents a large denomination of currency and asks for change, drive to a business that can break it down rather than displaying your cash or offer to get it broken down while they are inside a venue.
If a problem develops, just remember to stay calm, stall for time, and get help coming to you as soon as you can.
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