Stinky taxi drivers banned in Utrecht

Taxi. ()

New rules for Utrecht city taxi medallions state that cab drivers must keep good personal hygiene, paying particular attention to clean and tidy clothing. Drivers must not have a foul odor, and may not wear sandals, gym shoes or short-sleeved shirts, newswire ANP reported.

Set to come into effect on May 1, the new rules also call for the cars to be exceptionally clean inside and out. A sport coat and pants is the preferred outfit, but it is not mandated. Other rules include bans on drivers making private calls, while business calls must be kept to a minimum. Smoking inside the car is forbidden, as are offensive bumper stickers.

Utrecht will use mystery passengers to help enforce the rules, with assistance from a non-profit organization.

Only cabs permitted by both the city and the national regulating authority are allowed to pick up passengers in Utrecht under the new ordinance, with fines possible for violations.

The city's board still needs to approve the rules, which the city says were drafted with representatives of the taxi industry.