Nashville cabs required to have GPS tracking after woman’s death

Nashville Taxi Cab

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Starting immediately, cab companies in Metro Nashville will have to add GPS tracking devices to all of its cabs.

Metro’s Transportation Licensing Commission made the regulation Thursday.

Cab companies must also be able to turn over information about cabs within 24 hours of the director of the MTLC making a request.

Livia Smith
Livia Rose Smith, 32

If the cab company cannot provide information showing the location of a cab at any given time, the company and the driver could face commission sanctions including the loss of their licenses.

The regulation is in response to the death of 32-year-old Livia Smith.

Smith was found dead about a block from her east Nashville home in February.

Witnesses report last seeing her getting into a Yellow Cab outside of 3 Crow Bar in the 5 Points neighborhood of east Nashville.

Police have been unable to locate the cab or its driver despite a city regulation that requires cab drivers to record information about each passenger they transport on a manifest.

“When the police came to us and asked for our assistance we went to the companies and started talking to them about what information they had,” Interim Director of the MTLC Billy Fields said. “What we realized was the required manifest that tells us where people were is pretty easy not to fill out.”

He continued, “In this particular case with the GPS tracking its going to give us the ability to ask for a report on all those cars in service. We will be able to tell exactly where they were at any moment in time.”

Fields said the commission got little to no opposition from cab companies in Nashville.

“They recognized that it was a need and it’s a safety factor,” he said. “Some of them already have GPS and others either have it or are in the process of getting it.”

Livia Smith accident scene
Livia Smith was found dead in the roadway near her east Nashville home in February 2013.

One of those companies is Taxi USA which operates 205 cabs under the names Allied Cab, Nashville Cab and 1-800-TAXI-CAB.

Cab drive Mike Kaiser is an independent owner operator working for Nashville Cab. He has a tablet in his cab which is linked to dispatch that tracks his location, direction of travel and speed.

“It knows where I am at. I can’t lie to it,” he said.

Kaiser said as an independent small business owner he wants everything possible done to protect his clients.

“I think all cab drivers should be held accountable,” he said. “They all should be able to explain where they were at any given time.”

The MTLC did not set a deadline for the cabs to add GPS devices to their fleet.

The commission said the devices should be in place as soon as possible.

Metro police continue to seek information about Smith’s death.

Anyone with information about Smith death or the whereabouts of the cab she got into on the morning of February 20 should call Metro police at 615-862-8600.

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