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Taxi crackdown

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Gone from today? Drivers rejecting passengers, using bad language, failing to take passengers to their destinations, reckless driving and refusing to use the meter.

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Soldiers and police will be staking out Bangkok's top taxi queues, to ensure drivers never refuse to take a passenger. KITJA APICHONROJAREK

Crackdown on unruly taxi drivers begins

Amornrat Mahitthirook

Authorities kicked off their campaign to get tough with unruly taxi drivers Wednesday, including those who refuse to use meters and turn away passengers.

Col Wirat Wongchan, deputy commander of the 11th Military Circle, said the military unit, the Land Transport Department (LTD), the Royal Thai Police, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and other agencies concerned are working together to inspect taxi services in a bid to boost convenience and safety for passengers.

The move is in line with National Council for Peace and Order policy, he said, adding that police, army and other officials will perform strict driver checks.

According to Col Wirat, both uniformed and plainclothes officers will focus on eight key spots — Future Park Rangsit, Yaowarat, Mo Chit bus station, CentralWorld, MBK, Platinum Fashion Mall in Pratunam, Wat Phra Kaeo and Soi Nana.

Officers, will also inspect taxis in front of other shopping malls, community areas, heavy traffic zones and bus terminals.

LTD chief Asdsathai Rattanadilok Na Phuket said drivers will be checked to ensure they have proper licences.

Drivers must not refuse to take passengers and are obliged to use the meter during the journey and wear appropriate attire, he said.

Violators could face a fine of 1,000 baht, or risk having their taxi driving licences revoked. Operators of taxi services could also be held accountable for any offences.

"The deployment [of officers] to carry out inspections will be intense over the next two or three days," Mr Asdsathai said.

Also targeted are drivers who reject Thai passengers in favour of foreigners, whom they rip off by refusing to use the meter and taking longer routes to destinations.

"These practices must be stopped, as they cause trouble for the public and affect the country's image among foreign tourists," the LTD chief said.

He said the LTD will launch a special training programme for taxi drivers on Aug 30 for those who do not yet have proper licences.

Drivers can then submit the training certificate and sit an exam if they want to obtain taxi licences, he said.

According to Mr Asdsathai, 10-20% of 160,000 taxi drivers still do not have the correct licences.

The LTD also urged taxi garages to deliver records of taxi drivers and contact numbers to the agency quickly, or be prepared to face the consequences for failing to cooperate.

A total of 23,753 complaints about cab drivers were made via the call centre number 1584 between October and July.

Common complaints include drivers rejecting passengers, using bad language, failing to take passengers to their destinations, reckless driving and refusing to use the meter.

A total of 14,865 drivers were summoned to report to authorities; 32 licences were suspended and one revoked.

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Vocabulary:

accountable : responsible for something that has happened - ซึ่งรับผิดชอบ, สามารถอธิบายได้

appropriate : (opposite: inappropriate) suitable or right for a particular situation or purpose - ที่เหมาะสม

attire (noun): clothes - เครื่องแต่งกาย, เครื่องแต่งตัว

authority (noun): a person or group with special knowledge or expertise - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญเฉพาะทาง

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) : the local government of Bangkok - กรุงเทพมหานคร

bid : an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม 

boost : an action or event that helps something to increase, improve, or become more successful - การส่งเสริม

campaign : a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์

certificate : an official document that proves that something is true; such as finishing a course of study at a school - ประกาศนียบัตร; หนังสือรับรอง

commander : the head of an army or army unit - ผู้บังคับบัญชา

common : ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา

community : the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน

complaint : when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การบ่น, ข้อที่ไม่พอใจ

concerned : involved in something, or affected by something - เกี่ยวข้องกับ ที่สัมพันธ์กับ

consequence : result of effect of something - ผลที่ตามมา

convenience : the quality of being suitable for your purposes and needs and causing the least difficulty - ความสะดวกสบาย

cooperate : to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved - ร่วมมือกัน

crackdown : strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity - การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่

deployment : the movement of soldiers or equipment to a place where they can be used when they are needed - การเคลื่อนกำลังพลพร้อมอาวุธไปอยู่ในตำแหน่งที่พร้อมจะต่อสู้ (ทางทหาร)

deputy : a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

destination : the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง

ensure : to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ

focus : to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ

get tough with : to act in a strong and determined to deal with someone or something -

image : an opinion that people have about someone or something - ภาพลักษณ์

in favour of : preferring to choose someone or something that you believe is better -

in line with : following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with - สอดคล้องกับ

inspect : to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด

inspection : an official process of checking that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should - การตรวจสอบตรวจตรา

intense : done with a lot of effort, energy, attention, etc. - เข้มข้น

kick off : to begin an event; to launch - เริ่มต้น, เริ่มทำ

launch : to start a new public service - เริ่มโครงการ, เริ่มต้น

licence : an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต

National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) (noun): The military-installed group ruling Thailand following the 2014 coup d'état - คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ

obliged : required to do something - ต้องทำ

obtain : to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult - ได้มา, ได้รับ

offence : a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย

operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ

passenger : someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร

plainclothes officers : police officers who wear regular clothes instead of police uniforms -

policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย

practice : a way of doing something - การปฏิบัติ

proper (adj.): in a way that is correct and/or appropriate - อย่างเหมาะสม, อย่างถูกต้อง

queue : a line of people waiting for something - คิว

reckless : not thinking about the possible bad effects of your actions - สะเพร่า

refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ

reject : to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ

revoke : to officially say that something is no longer legal - เพิกถอน

rip off (verb): (informal) to cheat somebody, by making them pay too much, by selling them something of poor quality, etc - คิดราคามากเกินไป (คำไม่เป็นทางการ)

route : the roads used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง

spot : the particular place where someone or something is - ที่, สถานที่

stake out (verb): (of police) to watch a building/area secretly to find evidence of illegal activities - เฝ้าสังเกต

strict : demanding that rules are obeyed; very careful and exact - เข้มงวด

submit : to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it - ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา

summoned (verb): officially ordered someone to come to a place, especially a court of law or a police station - ถูกเรียกตัว

suspended (verb): not allowed to participate or to do a job for a period of time; not allowed to be used for a period of time - ถูกระงับ

target : to direct something at someone or something - ตั้งเป้าหมาย

terminal : a large building where passengers arrive and leave - อาคารผู้โดยสาร

unruly : difficult to control - ยากที่จะควบคุมได้

urge : to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

via : through - ผ่าน (ช่องทาง)

violator : a person who goes against or refuse to obey a law, an agreement, etc. - ผู้ฝ่าฝืน, ผู้ละเมิดกฎ

zone : an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed - พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต

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