Govt urged to be lenient with dodgy taxi drivers

Govt urged to be lenient with dodgy taxi drivers

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Taxi drivers are facing increasing pressure from the government in an effort to stamp out malpractice across the industry. New measures are being considered that involve penalty points and potentially a ban if drivers commit any of the 11 existing offences, as detailed in a new bill presented to Legco.

The chairman of the Hong Kong Taxi Council, Ryan Wong, has spoken out in favour of the authorities’ efforts to clean up the industry but has warned they should not be too hard on drivers, citing various different offences that are either difficult to understand or don’t accurately represent any immediate concerns for customers.

Wong believes the authorities should focus on serious and immediate issues first and then move onto the other offences. He has also suggested that as new fleets of taxis are introduced, with upgraded facilities and services, the cost for customers should also rise by as much as 30 percent to make the changes financially viable.

One of the main concerns these changes pose is the potential for misunderstandings that would result in drivers being unfairly penalised. Wong has raised this point to ensure the authorities recognize the difficulties some drivers may have in understanding all of the regulations.

Overall, the plan is a positive step forward for Hong Kong taxi drivers and their customers in terms of safety and customer service standards. For it to truly be effective however, the government need to proceed with caution and ensure all drivers have a clear understanding of the rules and regulations, with adequate education and notifications of what actions would lead to penalty points so that drivers are not unfairly punished

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