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Vicksburg may change tax inspection rules

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VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Taxi company owners could find their vehicles undergoing more rigid annual inspections under a plan proposed by Vicksburg's Public Transportation Board.

The Vicksburg Post reported (http://bit.ly/1utGvAD) the board voted Tuesday to recommend the Board of Mayor and Aldermen engage the city's vehicle maintenance department in cab inspections, which under the proposed plan would include a test drive and mechanical inspection.

If the plan is approved, Transportation Board president Jim Stirgus Jr. says the board will develop inspection procedures.

Stirgus wants city vehicle maintenance supervisor Barry Warnock to meet with the board in September and to discuss the city's role in the enhanced inspections.

"We are a tourist town, and we have to make sure we do everything we can to make sure that people are safe when they travel our streets," board member Stan Collins said.

Cabs are required under the city's vehicle-for-hire ordinance to be inspected annually by the Vicksburg Police Department. The inspection ensures the vehicle's lights, turn and emergency signals, horn and speedometer work, the body, windshield and rear and side mirrors are in good condition, the seat belts work, the taximeter is calibrated and the vehicle has the proper identification.

Collins said the cabs should also undergo a mechanical inspection to ensure the brakes, axles and other mechanical parts are working properly. He said he watched the last cab inspections "and saw some things I didn't agree with that (weren't) on the (inspection list)." He said mechanics at the maintenance building discovered three dry-rotted tires on one cab.

Collins said he was not criticizing police about the inspections. "They're doing what they're supposed to be doing, but they don't have the training to be able to get under the vehicle and look for problems underneath. Four eyes are better than two," he said.

"This could be a possible liability issue later," he said. "I'm looking to protect this board, but I'm also looking to protect the city and the people."

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com

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