Clearwater taxi service owner says profession is safe, despite c - WFLA News Channel 8

Clearwater taxi service owner says profession is safe, despite crimes

Posted: Updated:
Allen Weatherilt, owner of United Taxi Allen Weatherilt, owner of United Taxi
Chris Rhubottom, operations manager for United Taxi Chris Rhubottom, operations manager for United Taxi
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL - Despite recent crimes targeting cab drivers, Allen Weatherilt feels the profession is a safe one.

Related content: Cab driver found dead in car in Tampa


Weatherilt is the general manager of United Taxi in Clearwater and has been a driver and manager for 50 years.

"I feel like it's a very, very safe business, but there's always the situation," said Weatherilt.  "Just like, I had a friend with Florida Power at the time and he asked me that question, and I responded to him, well, how many of your line men have been electrocuted. He said, we're not going to talk about that any more."

United Taxi installs cameras in each of its cabs with the goal of keeping drivers and passengers safe.

Related content:  Cab driver shot during Tampa armed robbery

"It works twofold," said United's operations manager Chris Rhubottom.  "One you can press panic by pressing the red indicator right under the light, and that'll automatically trigger it. You can push your meter on, meter off so if you stop to pick up an individual it activates the camera."

The cameras are also activated if the detects a sudden movement, such as a crash.


Related content:  Cab driver injured in shooting faces eviction

Weatherilt says he encourages drivers to use their judgement when it comes to picking up fares. If it doesn't seem right, he says, don't do it. He says he considers the entire cab driving community as a family, so when a driver is injured or killed while doing his or her job, it has a chilling effect on the business.

"Every time something like this happens to someone in my family, every taxi cab driver in the business is part of my family, it hits home. It's hard, you know. I've tried to do everything I can to create a safe working environment here, with our company and it's just never enough," said Weatherilt.

Sign up for free breaking news and headline email alerts http://8.wfla.com/18DCEqk



  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:49 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:49:59 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • NewsMore>>

  • Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:41:03 GMT
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
  • Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:59:20 GMT
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
  • Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:44 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:44:26 GMT
    Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.