Sacramento Taxi Drivers Say English Test Requirement Is Setting Them Up for Failure

CBS Sacramento, August 8, 2014

Taxi drivers required to pass an English test to renew their permits in Sacramento say they’re being set up for failure.

Part of a newly passed ordinance that recently went into effect requires drivers to know a certain level of English. The city says the requirement came from passenger complaints.

“We received a number of complaints from passengers that they couldn’t communicate with the driver of where they need to go and what they needed,” said city revenue manager Brad Wasson.

The tests, one written and one digital, are required for a driver to renew their permit. In the first week, 18 of the 28 drivers failed at least one portion.

Mohammad Ahsan was one of those drivers.

“They used some words, like very hard English,” he said. “If you use like, a simple English, I think that’s not a big problem.”

Drivers were given some sample questions to study like this one:

Smoking is prohibited in cars. Which word closely relates to the underlined word.

  • Allowed
  • Genius
  • Banned
  • Covert


After three failures, the city computer kicks the driver out of the system, but Wasson says they’ll likely give the driver another chance.


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  • MekongDelta69

    Ok – I want to take this test too:

    Smoking is prohibited in cars. Which word closely relates to the underlined word. [Note: Even the test GIVER didn’t put a question mark at the end of this sentence!!]


    “Hmm… Let me think… Umm…

    I think I’m gonna go with ‘Genius’ for a Thousand Alex.

    You give me job now? Yes?”

    • Nancy

      Sean Connery: “I’ll take SWORDS for two hundred, Alex!”

      (I’ll be so impressed if someone gets my SNL reference.)

  • LHathaway

    All these colored Taxi drivers do is prevent white drivers from being insulted, harassed, robbed, menaced and killed. There was a time when Taxi driver was the most dangerous occupation in America.

    • You know, I think i agree with you on this one. In an ideal world, taxi drivers would be white, and passengers would also be white. But this is most certainly NOT an ideal world, and a lot of people aren’t aware of just how many taxi drivers ARE murdered, robbed, assaulted, etc, all for relatively meager pay.

      Especially in majority nonwhite areas, I say let the drivers be as diverse as possible, that indirectly reduces the chance of a poor white being shot in the back of the head for the 40 dollars in his wallet. I’d most certainly see poor Mohammad Ahsan’s bloodstained turban on the news than hear about a white 20 something killed trying to pay his way through college.

      • LHathaway

        Taxi driver is no doubt still a dangerous job. You’ve missed a point of fact I hoped was contained in my post. There are less murders of cab drivers now Because cab drivers are normally men of color. Very unscientific on my part. I’m sure a researcher could prove a very strong correlation. A cab driver is much more likely to be murdered if they are white. If so, no doubt (white) cab drivers need more sensitivity training so they can properly serve their diverse clientele. That would be a stop-gab measure until Taxi companies can improve diversity in hiring. Communities of color need to be served by those of a similar back ground, to say it crudely, by those who look like them.

        • Oh, I understood what you were saying, I just went off on a different tangent, I think the reason crime against taxi drivers has dropped in general is due to the modernization of the methods of payment. Taxi drivers used to drive around with hundreds-thousands of dollars in fares from the day, relatively unsecured, making them a good target for robbery, as well as more likely to resist (losing a days fares would likely lead to the driver losing his job, or having his pay massively docked) given a lot of urban areas, cabs can be paid via card, or nfc devices, and cash payments are placed in a lockbox much more difficult to remove/access, which more or less eliminates profit as a reason for cab driver directed violence, leaving the motivation of racial hate as the remaining major motive, and no one is hated more than Whitey!

          with that being said, there are still a number of nonwhite cab drivers who are mugged and or murdered by blacks too stupid to realize that all the money they’ll get is what’s in the drivers wallet, and like I said, I’m fine with Muhammad being the one to take a bullet in this case.

          • LHathaway

            Maybe I’m wrong (and it would certainly Not be an oddity) but I think some. . . youths. . may have a paranoia about cab drivers. They may think that cab drivers are working with the police (they do have a radio), and out to get them some how in a general sense, or are potential witnesses. Maybe they have a guilty conscience (and actually, legitimately) have reason to have. I suspect those with a guilty conscience, for whatever reason, are more dangerous.

          • I think you’re actually spot on, blacks are very, very superstitious, and suspicious, and a large percentage of them have committed crimes for which they weren’t caught yet, and their possible fear of taxis may be due in part to the fact that in a lot of urban areas, police will use taxis for undercover surveillance. The extra antennas on “undercover” vehicles is a dead giveaway that that car IS an undercover vehicle, and some razor’s will have extra antennas and whatnot. I also forgot to mention cameras, a lot more taxis have passenger facing cameras to discourage crime these days, which is a deterrent against some of the less stupid criminals.

      • saxonsun

        In NYC, even the diversity drivers try to avoid ghetto areas.

  • JohnEngelman

    Taxi drivers required to pass an English test to renew their permits in Sacramento say they’re being set up for failure.

    – CBS Sacramento, August 8, 2014

    They deserve to fail. Tests are given for a purpose.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Calm down, Mohammad. I happen to have the happy ending for you!
    First, contact the SPLC, and have them file a suit against Sacramento.
    Claim they are being racists, and loudly protest!!
    Next, go on TV with one of your seven kids, and claim you can’t feed them, thereby gaining sympathy from the white California liberals.

    Don’t worry. I’ve seen this scenario 100 times across the country. You will eventually win!

  • JackKrak

    Even twenty years ago, who would have thought that in addition to long-lost cities like NY, LA and Miami that places like SACRAMENTO would become part of Hellholistan……

  • none of your business

    Can’t wait to see what the Sacramento Jewish Federation monthly newsletter has to say about this evil biased, bigoted prejudiced discriminatory test that prevents illiterate, innumerate black and brown foreigners from becoming taxi drivers.
    The test the Sacto taxi bureau made up is much like the test Kaiser steel used 45 years ago to determine promotion to foreman. Blacks who could not read and write memos or do very very simple math i.e subtract 18 from 25 sued to declare the test discriminatory, AJC ADL funded the suit. Jewish attorneys filed the suit on behalf of illiterate innumerate blacks and the supreme court held that is is indeed discriminatory to expect a steel mill foreman to be able to read, write and do simple math.
    It was either Griggs vs Duke power or Kaiser vs Weber that Chief Justice Brennan may he get what he deserves in the after life wrote the majority opinion that:

    “disproportionate representation is in and of itself clear and present evidence of discrimination” It was that one sentence that led to the ethnic clearance of Whites from so many jobs.
    Of course now that especially govt jobs in some states are 90 percent non White the doctrine of disproportionate representation no longer hold. The doctrine of no Whites need apply now rules the land.

  • dd121

    I hope they are failed if they can’t read street signs. Stop signs be racist.

  • Who Me?

    It’s just too much to ask that the taxi driver called to drive grandma to the doctor’s office understand WHERE he’s supposed to be taking her. If he mistakenly drops her off at a strip mall in the hood on the other side of town where she gets bopped over the head and killed for the $15. co-pay in her purse–oh well, asking him to be accountable would just be RAY-CISSSSS

    • phillyguy

      it’s our fault, we should have made English the national language, now with the browning of America that will never happen

  • IstvanIN

    Allowing these people into our nation is rather like some NJ residents, especially in Passaic County, who rebuild homes in flood plains every five years. Will the majority ever learn?

  • Demo P. Seal; PouponMarks

    I agree. Incompetence and inability to do the job should not be automatic disqualifies. Other considerations such as skin color, shoe size, hair style, and amount of pubic hair should also be considered as important and may override the former.

  • saxonsun

    Here in NYC and environs, it is increasingly impossible to see a white person driving a cab; most cabbies are third-world denizens, mostly Indians. They are the most unsafe drivers you can imagine–they cut in front constantly and never use turn signals. They are responsible for most of the accidents here. Last winter, a beautiful 9-year-old white boy was killed by one of these Indian slobs.

    • Demo P. Seal; PouponMarks

      Could they be any worse than the Somali cab drives of Minnesota? They will not allow service dogs in their cabs or women with short skirts, shorts, etc. Or for that matter someone who is obviously Jewish. How did this happen?

      • John Stone

        The middle class of long ago became the upper – middle class, and the poor Americans will not do this work so you hire the willing . So no short skirts /shorts and Harvey better buy a car or ride the bus because no ride for you my friend.