The Maltese cab driver who was filmed aggressively berating a badly parked foreign cab driver has spoken publicly about what led him to lose it.
“I apologise to the public for going ballistic in the middle of the streets,” Robert* told Lovin Malta.
Robert was filmed hurling abusive language after a foreign cab driver parked illegally on a double yellow line in a tight Valletta backroad. Unable to pass in his own cab, the situation escalated until Robert had a meltdown, even spitting at the other driver’s car.
Robert wanted to explain what occurred prior to the video.
“The street of Dar Mediterann was closed, so we had to turn up near St Paul’s Street and drive up from there, but the other driver had to pick someone up in that street and that’s where I found him,” Robert said.
“First, I beeped for him to move, and he moved a bit to the side, so I beeped more, and he tried to squeeze in more, but it’s a narrow street, there’s no space…”
“So I kept beeping, then he went on the pavement, and I got out of the car and asked him nicely to move – and that’s when he said ‘fuck you I’m not going to move’… and that’s when I lost it.”
Robert, who said he is a single father with one child who depends on him, said that since the video went viral, he’s been receiving messages of support from all segments of society. Though he hasn’t seen the video himself or been following the blowback to his video, he is fearful that he will lose his job “after finally getting back on my feet again”.
“I want to apologise to the public. Even the nicest guy in the world has his breaking point… I’m not some ħamallu, if I was a bad guy I think people who have told me I deserve to lose my job, but even my ex stood up for me,” he said.
“I haven’t even seen the comments, the video was sent to me but I was concentrating on my job, my friends told me a lot of people stood up for me, but driving is something you need to be 100% focused on,” he said.
When it comes to the words he used, he is adamant that he isn’t a racist.
“I spent seven years being bullied in St Edwards College so I think I know a thing or two about what it means to be discriminated against,” Robert said wryly.
“But I told him politely, there are poles sticking out of the pavement, I just could not pass. He kept telling me to try and pass, I’m not going to move… these drivers can be so reckless sometimes and are dangerous on our roads.”
“One of the things I would like to say is that the way some of the new drivers drive is very stressful. It’s getting extremely dangerous every day,” he continued.
“And as we drove up the road before he parked, he kept stopping, and the smell of the clutch was stinking up the street.”
“Try and imagine, every day, we see this every day, I don’t know how some of these people got their driving licenses.”
He’s appealed to the public and his company to understand where he was coming from, and that this outburst was not typical of him.
“I’m happy with this job, and it turned my life around. I thank my child that kept me alive, cause if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have anything to live for….if I lose this job, this is my life support, I lose everything.”
*Names have been changed.