Clampdown on taxi drivers who refuse to accept passengers

The Land Transport Department in cooperation with the 11th Army Circle have started a clampdown on taxies in Bangkok to make sure that they use meters and do not reject passengers.

Colonel Virat Wongchan, deputy commander of the 11th Army Circle, said Wednesday that the clampdown on taxi services was one of the policies of the National Council for Peace and Order to ensure more safety and better services for the passengers.

Uniformed and plainclothes military and land transport officials will be deployed at eight “high-risk’’ points where taxi drivers are prone to violate regulations such as refusing to accept some passengers.  The “high risk” points include Future Park Rangsit, Yaowaraj road, Mor Chit bus terminal, Central World shopping mall, Mahboonkrong shopping mall, Paltinum mall in Pratunam, Soi Nana, Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew.

Land transport director-general Mr Atsathai Rattanadilok na Phuket said officials would check the driving licences and ID cards of the cabbies. Violation of this requirement will be liable to a 1,000 baht fine and/or one-month jailterm.

The cabbies, he added, must use meters and must not refuse to accept Thai passengers or they will face stern action from the authorities.

There are about 160,000 taxies operating in Bangkok and its suburbs and up to 20 percent of the drivers do not have the licences.  Most of the complaints against taxi drivers deal with their use of rude language with passengers and rejecting passengers in favour of foreign passengers.