It’s a hot sunny day and you’re standing by the side of the road waiting to hail a taxi.
Soon you see one and you stretch your hand forward to hail for it. But, it zooms past you without stopping.
You start to curse and swear.
Why didn’t the taxi stop?
Many reasons, but one reason is because you’re likely standing in a spot which the taxi driver cannot stop to pick up a passenger.
From June 2014 to March this year, members of the National Taxi Association (NTA) received more than 280 summons from the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
If you didn’t know, the LTA recently implemented Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras all around the island to deter illegal parking and road obstructions.
While the CCTV cameras help to minimise the illegal parking and road obsturctions which lead to a smoother journey for some, inevitably, taxi drivers often bear the brunt of receiving summons when passengers demand to stop in zones that are designated as “No-stop” zones.
Taxi drivers and commuters continue to pick-up or drop-off along these designated areas out of habit or convenience. And when these get captured on the cameras, taxi drivers receive a fine of up to $130 and three demerit points.
In certain instances, this could lead to the suspension of taxi drivers’ licenses, which will affect their income and livelihood.
Taxi driver Mr Ken Chin who has been driving for the past 16 years said that passengers often demand they alight at designated “No-stop” zones out of convenience and do not realise the impact it has on the taxi driver.
The 60-year old taxi driver said that passengers sometimes feedback that they have been alighting at the particular spot each time they take a taxi and do not understand why they are not allowed to when rejected.
He says he hopes that passengers can understand the plight of taxi drivers who are constrained by the new rules and regulations which prevent them from stopping to pick-up and drop-off passengers at certain spots. “If we were to receive just one fine every day, it would be unbearable and if would affect our income,” said Mr Chin.
To help its members, the NTA distributed 10,000 tissue packets with instructions on how to safely hail a taxi or drop-off from a taxi to both commuters and taxi drivers at Rochor Road, in front of Fu Lu Shou Complex which is one of the identified locations installed with CCTV cameras.
Mr Chin says that the association has sent an advice to members to advise them on the identified “No-stop” locations and to discourage members from stopping at those areas.
“Such advice and action to inform our taxi community and commuters help make driving a taxi easier and allow commuters to be better educated about where they can board or alight a taxi,” says Mr Chin.
Tips to help cabbies avoid traffic offences and fines
1.) Avoid flagging or dropping off near “Parking Camera Surveillance Areas”
2.) Avoid flagging or dropping off a “double yellow zig-zag lines” or “single white zig-zag line” areas.
3.) Roads with bus lanes during bus lane operating hours