North Charleston may require cab inspections

North Charleston may soon require taxis to be inspected by a certified mechanic. (File/Brad Nettles/postandcourier.com)

Taxicabs in North Charleston will have to pass annual mechanical inspections — in addition to the current cosmetic inspections — if a proposed ordinance passes Thursday.

The city currently inspects cabs for items such as a working top light, a well-painted exterior, rate cards on display and clean upholstery.

City employees also perform cursory mechanical inspections, but officials felt it would be better to have an Automobile Service Excellence certified mechanic check out the vehicles’ safety systems, including brakes, steering, muffler and more.

The measure also calls for eliminating the $25 fee now paid to the city for the inspection to offset costs cab companies will have to pay independent mechanics for the inspections.

“The end results of this measure are better cabs on our roadways and a better passenger experience,” said Mayor Keith Summey.

Several taxi companies said they already have their cars certified because the city of Charleston also requires ASE-certified inspections. Yellow Cab of Charleston, for instance, will soon have certified inspectors on its staff, said Vice President Jerry Crosby.

The issue unanimously passed North Charleston’s public safety committee on June 16 and is scheduled for a final reading before the full council on Thursday.

If it is passes, the law will go into effect immediately.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 843-937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.