Private Hire Driver Regulations…The Necessary Pain…

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign

So why should the new regulations to the Private Driver Hire services such as Uber and GrabCar affect you the user?

2 main reasons:

  • Safety
  • Security

Safety for commuters and other road users

Cars

 

Yes, everyone can get a driving license and be on the road, driving a car or riding a motorcycle, but not everyone is trained to be on the road for long hours every day and chauffeur passengers around. This is why there is the Taxi Driver Vocational License (TDVL) for cabbies and the soon-to-be introduced Private Hire Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) for Uber and GrabCar drivers.

While the course for the latter is just 10 hours as compared to what taxi drivers go through,  they will be put under a demerit point system.

This will make the chauffeured service more reliable and safer for passengers and other road users.

Security

We haven’t seen any case of rape or robbery on a private-hire vehicle in Singapore. But I’m sure you would have seen many of such cases in other countries such as India and the US.

A fake Uber driver was arrested for kidnapping in Los Angeles recently.

ST_20160317_VNGRAB_2144242

One of the ways the government is countering such cases of fake Uber or GrabCar drivers is to have Private-hire cars which are used for bookings under Uber and Grab be registered with the Land Transport Authority (LTA). The vehicles must also display a tamper-evident decal, so commuters and authorities can easily identify them.

Some say that the licensing is a barrier to entry to prevent competition.

But I disagree.

The licensing is implemented to regulate and properly identify private-car hire drivers. It’s not something to stop big players from coming in and gaining a spot in the market.

You don’t want a case of how private car owners (车) of the past were able to overcharge passengers because there were no regulations in place.

Again, we are fortunate not to have any cases of harm done to any passenger of Uber or GrabCar, yet. So, properly regulating and identifying will prevent and deter such cases from happening. And in if it really happens, at least it will be easier for the authorities to investigate the matter.

 

 

Image Credits: rappler.com, Channel NewsAsia, Straits Times.

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Arthur Lee

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