Er­rant taxi driv­ers can lose li­cense

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS - Xu Lingchao

SHANG­HAI taxi driv­ers caught cherry-pick­ing pas­sen­gers or tam­per­ing taxime­ters face the prospect of hav­ing their li­cense with­drawn, ac­cord­ing to the law en­force­ment de­part­ment of the city’s trans­port com­mis­sion.

In an­other new de­vel­op­ment, all taxis in Shang­hai will now have to be fit­ted with a GPS nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

Un­der a new guide­line that aims to crack down on il­le­gal taxi op­er­a­tion, driv­ers caught cherry-pick­ing or over-charg­ing more than once will have their li­cense sus­pended, lo­cal trans­port au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day.

Pre­vi­ously, a driver would get away with a fine of 200 yuan (US$30) or banned from driv­ing a taxi for 15 days for cherry-pick­ing. Only if he or she was caught again within a year, the li­cense would be re­voked.

The new guide­line doesn’t set any such time limit.

A driver caught com­mit­ting the same of­fense twice will not be able to op­er­ate as a com­mer­cial driver for the next five years.

Also, the pun­ish­ment for taxime­ter vi­o­la­tions de­pended on the amount of money over­charged. Now, the au­thor­i­ties will con­fis­cate the li­cense for the same vi­o­la­tion com­mit­ted twice.

A taxi com­pany is also at risk of los­ing its op­er­at­ing li­cense if 20 per­cent of its driv­ers are banned, au­thor­i­ties said.

Draw­ing a par­al­lel with the rules of soc­cer, Ni Shent­ing, a law en­force­ment of­fi­cer from the traf­fic de­part­ment, said: “Ba­si­cally, it means if you get a yel­low card, you are care­ful for the rest of your game. A sec­ond yel­low will au­to­mat­i­cally mean a sent off and your com­mer­cial driv­ing ca­reer is at risk.”

Af­ter five years, the driver will get an­other chance but only af­ter un­der­go­ing a se­ries of tests.

“I think the new guide­line is use­ful,” said Ni Guochang, a cab­bie from taxi com­pany Qiang­sheng. “Taxi busi­ness has long been the ‘name card’ of Shang­hai, and more such reg­u­la­tions will keep the busi­ness clean.”

The new guide­line was re­leased on Novem­ber 1, and driv­ers and taxi firms were given a month to act on it.

In an­other guide­line, taxis have been told to in­stall a GPS sys­tem and link it with the nav­i­ga­tion and su­per­vi­sion sys­tem of their com­pa­nies. The onus is now on the com­pa­nies to re­port all un­usual ac­tiv­i­ties to the au­thor­i­ties.

Pas­sen­gers can call 12345 to com­plain about er­rant taxis. The traf­fic au­thor­i­ties have said keep­ing the taxi re­ceipts and tak­ing a pic­ture of the driver’s ser­vice card as well as car plate num­ber can help in dis­putes.

Of­fi­cers yes­ter­day nailed a driver of taxi firm Risheng with a car plate num­ber DX3261, fol­low­ing com­plaints about over­charg­ing against the driver. The taxi also did not have a GPS sys­tem.

Taxi firms with un­qual­i­fied driv­ers will also be fined 5,000 yuan, ac­cord­ing to the guide­line.

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