Cabby crackdown hits 1300 drivers

Cabby crackdown hits 1300 drivers

Shoppers wait for taxis at a taxi stand of Siam Paragon shopping complex. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Shoppers wait for taxis at a taxi stand of Siam Paragon shopping complex. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Department of Land Transport on Sunday said it had fined almost 1300 taxi drivers caught breaching regulations, mostly for not displaying licences and refusing passengers, in the Ratchaprasong and Siam areas in the past eight months.

The department's 1584 hotline received the most complaints about taxi drivers in Bangkok’s upmarket shopping district between 4.30pm and 10pm, Thairath Online quoted DLT director-general Sanit Phromwong as saying.

Mr Sanit said a total of 1,283 drivers had been fined for various offences since March 24, when the crackdown was launched. In all, 325 drivers failed to show their taxi operator licences, 205 refused to take passengers to their destinations, 158 did not use meters and overcharged and 149 did not have their vehicles inspected at the required period. The rest were disciplined on other petty violations. 

Four cabbies had their licences suspended for seven days after the DLT found that they had been fined previously for the same offence.

The crackdown covers four major shopping complexes — Siam Paragon, CentralWorld, Platinum and MBK. 

The agency has stepped up measures to deal with undisciplined taxi drivers in the areas where it received the highest complaints from commuters. Among the additional measures is a  joint task force of DLT officials, police and soldiers who will observe driver behaviour at the four shopping malls from 4.30 to 10pm every day.

Mr Sanit said shopping mall operators will send CCTV footage of offending cabbies to officials so that they can identify and punish them. For additional punishment, the DLT may refuse a request by a taxi cooperative or company with a high number of offenders or repeated violators to increase vehicle numbers. It may even reduce the number of their cars in service.   

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