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Saturday, Mar 02, 2024

Points and penalty system to be brought in to target black sheep of the taxi trade

Points and penalty system to be brought in to target black sheep of the taxi trade

To further improve taxi service quality, the SAR government is set to introduce a taxi-driver-offence points system and a two-tier penalty system for certain taxi-driver-related offenses, said Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung Wednesday.
The move came as many tourists visiting Hong Kong had claimed to have encountered incidents of "taxi ripping passengers off."

Last year, the police force and the Transport Department received 2,397 complaints regarding taxi drivers - almost double the figure in 2020 (1,238 cases). Of the cases last year, 952 were complaints about refusing hire, along with 696 about drivers not driving to a destination other than by the most direct practicable route, and 595 about overcharging.

In response to lawmakers' inquiries today, the transport chief said authorities have been closely monitoring public complaints about taxi services and will conduct surveys at taxi stands to monitor the taxi service quality and standard.

On enforcement, Lam said the police force has made targeted measures in all police districts - particularly those frequently visited by tourists, and has stepped up patrols at black spots, launched intelligence-led operations, and enhanced publicity.

He added that the force will continue to implement various effective measures, including disguising as passengers, to combat the illegal acts of taxi drivers.

Meanwhile, he noted that the government has earlier reviewed the overall taxi operation and management, and proposed to take forward a series of measures to enhance the development of the taxi industry - including the introduction of the taxi-driver-offence points system and the two-tier penalty system.

He explained that such measures would help combat taxi drivers' malpractices and enhance the deterrent effect against repeat offenders, thereby improving the overall quality of taxi services.

“The Government is formulating the details of the relevant legislative amendments and will submit them to the Legislative Council for scrutiny in due course,” he said.

Separately, Lam said the Transport Department has published leaflets with taxi fare rates and the reference fares for journeying to and from major tourist areas and attractions in Hong Kong for distribution to tourists at the airport, major border crossings and tourist spots, in order to help tourists understand the taxi fare arrangements in the city.
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