Odd ordinances: Cab drivers must keep clean

I do this occasionally on Twitter, so I’m going to start trying this on my blog and see how it works. The feedback I get will dictate whether I continue this (maybe weekly?) feature, so let me know what you think — positive or negative.

I’m sure you’ve seen them before. Every local government has laws on the books that seem quirky, or maybe no one even knows they’re there. I spend a lot of time looking at the Champaign municipal code, so I frequently come across them. I’ll share the ones I find here.

Today’s awkward city ordinance: it’s illegal for cabbies to forego bathing.

According to Ch. 36, Sec. 36-80(b), of the Champaign municipal code, “Every driver of a vehicle for hire shall maintain a reasonable degree of personal hygiene and be dressed in clean clothing that is not soiled or otherwise offensive.”

It’s illegal for those drivers to swear, too, although that seems a little less, um, unpalatable: “No driver of a vehicle for hire while on duty shall use any profane or obscene language or gestures, shout or call to prospective passengers, or engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, or unreasonably loud conduct.”

Were these things ever a problem?

Questions or comments? Please feel encouraged to post them below, e-mail me, or send me a message on Twitter.

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