A taxi company official in St. John's says some of his colleagues are thinking twice about who they pick up downtown because they fear they'll be falsely accused of doing something wrong.
"It's unfortunate but today, young single females or even two females in the car... bad news. Especially if they're intoxicated," said Doug McCarthy, general manager and a driver with Co-Op Taxi in St. John's.
McCarthy said some young women are drunk and pass out on the way home.
He said that when the driver wakes them up, they can't remember where they are going. In some cases, he said they threaten to make false accusations against the driver to avoid paying their fare.
“You touched me or you did this or that or you made a proposition,” said McCarthy, describing what drivers have reported being told.
McCarthy said fear that they'll be the victim of a false accusation, such as assault of inappropriate touching, has left some drivers struggling with the decision to pick up a young girl and bring her home if she is alone.
"Rule of thumb used to be pick up young girls first, take them home, pick up couples seconds and last, pick up the guys and take them home. Now, it's reversed," he said.