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Condoms from your cabbie

September 17th, 2005

Dr Petra

A new scheme is being planned for Edinburgh where cab drivers will be giving out condoms to passengers. Couples travelling home together at night could get condoms in discreet black envelopes along with their change.

The scheme was piloted in Brighton in August and was a success so is being rolled out in Scotland. A condom company is in discussion with the city council to decide which cab firm to use.

Whilst some taxi drivers are in favour of the idea, some are more sceptical, or concerned they may not be the best people to provide safer sex advice.

Similar schemes have been attempted elsewhere in the world with hairdressers, beauty salons and store assistants offering sex advice and condoms to their customers.

Cabbies are uniquely placed to provide free condoms – since many people use taxis for the quickest route back home after a successful date. It also fits within other sex positive campaigns to make condoms more widely available reduce stigma and make condom use more mainstream.

The Brighton pilot scheme has to date distributed over 60,000 condoms to customers that requested them – and taxi drivers were pleased to discover passengers were more likely to pick a condom-providing cab over a regular taxi.

The cabbie condom scheme is a new idea run by a commercial company – to be certain it works we ought to have an independent evaluation of the programme rather than just the company’s word it’s a success. However stories that get us thinking and talking about condoms are always good. And the even better news is you don’t need to wait for cabbies to start providing condoms. You can get condoms from your GP, family planning clinic, online and from chemists or supermarkets.

So if you’re prepared you could have condoms for you and one for your cabbie next time you go out.

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