By Joshua Phillips
December 30, 2013
Across the nation Americans will celebrate the arrival of the first day of 2014 while many others will be working to ensure everyone enjoys New Year’s Eve.
The people working will be the bartenders, the taxi cab drivers and in Kansas City, Mo., the police department (KCPD), and their job is to make sure the celebrations are safe, yet enjoyable for all. These different work environments are expected to be busy to provide for the safety of New Year’s Eve celebrants.
Nancy Cipolla, director of sales for the Kansas City Transportation Group, said New Year’s Eve is expected to be a huge night for the taxi cab company and offers advice to celebrants who don’t typically use their services.
“The biggest heads up I can tell people is to answer their cell phone when their driver calls them, rather than hopping into a random taxi cab that someone else could have reserved,” Cipolla said. “Since this is a huge night for our company, people should be prepared to have to wait on their ride. I would recommend finding your place before midnight and then staying somewhere after midnight, because we only have so many drivers to take thousands of people to different places and those people will want to go somewhere after midnight.”
Cipolla said there are many factors that will determine how busy the taxi drivers could be. She said people could be taking off from work on New Year’s Day so there can be an increase of customers, as well as having larger parties for the night of New Year’s Eve. However, there could be fewer rides given out if the weather is bone-chillingly cold, meaning that people won’t want to move around as much.
The website, www.tonyskansascity.com, featured a post on Dec. 27 from cab driver John T., who wanted to educate the public on how to best use a taxi cab. Such tips included calling a taxi cab driver instead of the cab company to save time waiting for a ride as well as being ready to leave when the driver arrives at your location; otherwise, they may pick up another person.
KCPD Capt. Matthew “Tye” Grant said KCPD will be on patrol and responsive like every night and that they do not anticipate any problems for New Year’s Eve. However, Kansas Citians should be wary of people who drive after consuming alcohol, Grant said.
“The people who go out to celebrate and are responsible about it must consider the use of a designated driver or another planned out method so they won’t harm themselves or others,” Grant said. “They will feel better the next day (by not driving after drinking).”
Another problem residents must watch for is celebratory gunfire during New Year’s Eve night because “some people shoot their guns in the air and the bullet(s) has to come down at some point,” Grant said.
Tony’s Kansas City made a post Monday about the dangers of celebratory gunfire. Along with the risk of someone being killed or seriously injured by the stray bullet, property damage is also a great problem with celebratory gunfire.
Instead of getting into trouble with the law for driving intoxicated or by accidentally killing someone from celebratory gunfire, the Kansas City Transportation Group and KCPD would like for all Kansas Citians to be safe while having fun on New Year’s Eve.