RAC patrols' ice breaker with stranded London cabbie

Article date: 25 January 2010

London taxi driver, Michael Walker, was going nowhere fast when his cab got stuck on an icy side road earlier this month.

And to make matters worse, he was forced to stay put with his foot down hard on the brake to stop the taxi colliding with two parked cars.

Enter RAC, which – within 15 minutes – fielded a patrol to help the stranded driver. With a second RAC patrol arriving to provide extra assistance, the patrolmen used a blow-torch, de-icer and club hammer to free the vehicle.

The two patrolmen then pushed the taxi about 50 metres in icy conditions before Mr Walker could engage the accelerator.

He said: “They could easily and understandably have walked away from this problem and left me stranded. Instead, they went far beyond what I pay RAC subscriptions for.”

RAC took more than half a million calls and handled 300,000 call-outs during the recent cold snap.

Steve Whitmarsh, senior partnership manager, of RAC Corporate Partnerships says: “Extreme conditions sometimes call for extreme methods to help motorists get moving. During times of bad weather the public rely on professionals, such as taxi drivers, to get them where they need to go. In this case it was the driving people helping the driving people.”

RAC’s protection for taxi and mini-cab drivers, Taxi-Assist, gives drivers tailored options including roadside assistance, recovery, breakdown assistance at home plus the option to cover family members.


RAC Press office contact:
Vicki Burn on 01603 684224/ 07800 692909
Lucy Haughey on 01603 688891/07800 690149 
Jon Clements at Staniforth on 0161 919 8022/07872 118364

Notes to editors:

About RAC
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists.  Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.

RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer service by J D Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last four years and the top named service organisation in the July 2009 UK Customer Satisfaction Index from the Institute of Customer Service.

Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Aviva UK Insurance. Aviva is the UK's largest insurer with a market share of around 15%.

RAC is part of Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurance group which operates in 28 countries.

RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.rac.co.uk/press-centre/

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