Recent ops on cabs shows that SPAD can, if it wills

TRANSIT is happy to hear the latest news that SPAD is actively pursuing errant taxi drivers who refuse to use meters.

SPAD hauls up errant cabbies in city (NST)

2011/04/13
By Nuradzimmah Daim

Datuk Paduka Che Hasni Che Ahmad talking to a taxi driver who was booked in the KLCC area. — Picture by Hazreen Mohamad

KUALA LUMPUR: A taxi driver thought he could get away with asking for a RM20 fare from Bukit Bintang to KLCC from two passengers.

Little did he know that the passengers were actually enforcement officers from the Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD) who were carrying out operations to nab errant taxi drivers.

[TRANSIT: We once heard from the CVLB that their enforcement officers were ‘recognized’ by cab drivers who proceeded to overcharge them anyways. Hopefully SPAD enforcement officers will not have the same defeatist attitude as the CVLB]

After dropping off the “passengers”, he was asked to pull over by other officers who were already carrying out operations against taxi drivers who refused to use the meter.

[TRANSIT: Did the officers ask to check the meter? Print a receipt? Was there a complaint from the passengers? Either way, good to see action being taken.]

The man, in his 30s, expressed regrets for his action and promised not to repeat it, but it did not save him from being slapped with a fine and given 14 days to explain his action to the commission.

The commission’s enforcement and training general manager Maj-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Paduka Che Hasni Che Ahmad, who led the 57-man team in the joint-operations with the police and City Hall, said the offender was among the 128 taxi drivers checked during the two-hour operations in the city centre.

“The fare is normally less than RM10 for that particular destination. He will be fined RM500 for failing to comply with the terms of taxi permit under the Land Public Transport Act and needs to come and explain why he didn’t use the meter. If he fails to do so, we will issue a show-cause letter and after a period of time, if he still fails to respond, he may be charged in court.

[TRANSIT: Actions speak louder than words – the RM500 fine is good but many people do not pay their summonses. There are also a lot of words like “if” and “may” being used.]

“We have received numerous complaints about drivers refusing to use meter, especially in tourist spots like the city centre. We will continue with our enforcement until the taxi drivers understand that it doesn’t pay to cheat passengers.

“I also believe the word will go around among the drivers and they should think twice before haggling for taxi fare.

“The ops will also be carried out in other areas.”

Under Section 75 of the [Land Public Transport] Act, an offender found guilty of demanding and collecting excessive fare may face a maximum fine of RM50,000 and three years’ imprisonment.

Che Hasni said the operations was [sic] carried out in Jalan Bukit Bintang, KLCC, Puduraya, Jalan Petaling, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Ampang, Pasar Seni, Leboh Ampang, Jalan Tun HS Lee, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Jalan Silang and [the] Sogo area.

During the enforcement exercise, two taxi drivers had their vehicles towed by the police after they failed to show their public service vehicle licence.

Other offences include[d] traffic obstruction, leaving their taxi to solicit passengers, not queuing up at taxi stand, driving without a taxi permit and dressing inappropriately.

The drivers of a bus express, transit bus, and private vehicle were also fined for obstructing traffic.

TRANSIT Says: Well done! We hope enforcement will be done (and more importantly, seen to be done) in other areas too. A complaint letter that appears today in Utusan on errant taxi drivers around Kelana Jaya LRT station should serve as a reminder to SPAD that more works need to be done.

Sadly, this kind of task is ‘never-ending’ and the rewards are few – so we encourage you to do the best and nicest thing you can possibly do when you see SPAD enforcement officers doing their job:

Say “thank you for a job well done.”

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4 thoughts on “Recent ops on cabs shows that SPAD can, if it wills”

  1. i m afraid i m highly sceptical of the effectiveness of such ops. not to say i want to be a wet blanket or discouraging of efforts from SPAD, but i don’t think it will serve as a silver bullet in preventing cabbies for not using meters for the following reason
    – how many can officers can go around on sting operation. it serves as a nice publicity stunt but once the ops is over, the cabbies revert back to their old tricks. old chinese saying – The mountains are high and the Emperor is far away

    furthermore, i think it can’t be all that difficult to spot an enforcement officer. middle aged well built malay guy – use meter. everyone else, no meter.

    thirdly, it gives SPAD a nice opportunity to show they are working. so the next time there is some negative publicity on them, catch a few errant taxi drivers to look good just like politicians kiss babies.

    i would suggest that to overcome this problem it has to be bottom up rather than top down. currently, there is this service allowing customers to SMS in on errant cabbies. but question i think is this – how do we know if such complaints get acted on. as such, if the public does not see this acted on, the perception is this – no point complaining as no use either.

    what i suggest instead is to create a web portal sthg like Ushahidi http://www.ushahidi.com/ where the public can post such incidents of cab numbers, location, date & time, cab company. let there be ranking where if there are multiple complaints on the cabs, there would be a black mark on the company.

    e.g if Person A complains abt cab X, Person B complains abt cab Y, Person C complains abt cab Z, then the ratings would be low for this Cab company operator XYZ(targeting the companies not the cab driver). what we can show to the public is this – cab operators with many black marks thus low ranking. secondly, we can shame the authorities as to why do these cab operators still gets their license renewed even though there are so many complaints to it.

    therefore, cab operators with poor perception ranking needs to show that they are doing sthg to fix it, or actually go bust out of biz.

    it may sound crazy but in the private sector, we hv already check the ranking of services like hotels b4 we even book it like http://www.tripadvisor.com. if the private sector can, why not use this ranking on public goods as well

  2. Hi Transit,
    i like to hear Transit opinion on ops Jejantas, that recently held at Petaling Street DBKL summones jaywalkers.

    If possible i do not like to use pedestrian bridge because it’s just too hassle, safety is doubtful (u can get rob in the pedestrian bridge), incovinience (some not build at strategic places), take much long time to cross a road esp. a short one.

    In Seoul, i dont see much pedestrian bridge (may be none of what i can recall) . but they build more on underground cross with CCTV (safety features)…..which is convinience.

    Our road is not Pedestrian friendly and as well the enforcement. Why i say that?

    a) I exprience few occasion where the traffic police at Jln Bukit Bintang near Lot 10. where that they give signal to cars to pass by red light for quiet long time, left the pedestrian stranglers.. at the end, there are so large crown both side of the road…

    b) Vehichels owners frequently beat red light,,,,pass over zebra crossing or they may just stop on top of the zebra crossing make pedestrian a hard time to cross the road esp. when there is large crowd. example u can see near Pavilion- StarHill.
    c) there only very short time for pedestrian to cross road sometime…

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