WAZE the Free Navigation App with free Traffic!

I recently downloaded a free navigation App for the iPhone called Waze which includes free traffic information, as this app was free my expectations were not that great but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at how useful this App would become when driving the Taxi especially the traffic information that the App clearly displays. This App also has the useful facility of being able to scroll around the map to view traffic holdups on your route, something that most other paid for navigation apps are unable to do. The App gathers the traffic information in a similar way that Tom Tom does by using the road speed of users to indicate where traffic problems exist the difference being that most other Apps charge for letting you view the traffic information that they have gathered from you the users. They call it community driving where the users share information on traffic, roadworks, Not only can you view traffic information but you can also add traffic holdups into the App to warn other users. Police check points and a lot more, the mapping is verified by the users actually driving the streets which means the mapping is kept up to date without the need for costly map purchases.

Groups is another feature of Waze where you can join existing groups or create your own group, you can then share information within your own group so that only members of your group can see it or publically so that any Waze user can see it. There are already quite a few Taxi groups set up that you can join from within the app so sharing info with other cabbies is easy.

Waze is available to download for the iPhone, Android Phones, Blackberry and Nokia Phones so most cabbies should be able to use the App. Waze is well worth a look especially as it is free, even if you don’t use the navigation function of the App the traffic information can sometimes be invaluable.

Performing Rights License

About 15 years ago the Public Carriage Office issued guidelines for those who wanted to fit speakers in the rear of their Taxi, one of the stipulations was that the taxi needed to be fitted with a volume control in the rear so that the passengers could control the volume of the music coming through the speakers. There was only one company who produced a rather crude volume switch that could be fitted in the rear to control the volume, the switch was rather clunky in operation and only a couple of Taxis were ever fitted with one.

The other stipulation was that the owner of the Taxi obtained a performing rights society license, this was because as a Taxi we convey the public and therefore any music played to the passengers in the back was considered a public broadcast, to my knowledge these regulations still stand today for Taxis but I have not seen a taxi displaying a PRS license for quite a number of years.

Now we get to private Hire, all modern cars are fitted with speakers in both the front and the rear, also as there is no partition in a PH vehicle the passengers can hear the music emanating from any of the vehicles speakers, now although they are called Private Hire the people they convey are also the public, ie. they are not known by the driver so they are strangers to him, now surely when music is played through the cars speakers this also can be considered a public broadcast which would mean that every PH vehicle should in theory require a PRS license, so why did the PCO not include this as a requirement of licensing for PH vehicles? It’s just another indication that PH licensing is a very flimsy form of regulation purely designed to give the travelling public a false sense of security.

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