Lawmakers urge gov’t review of illegal workers after traffic accident

SOME lawmakers are urging the local government to crack down on illegal drivers and suspend the mutual recognition scheme of driving licenses issued by the authorities in both mainland China and Macau.

On Friday afternoon, a 22-year-old woman riding a scooter was hit by a car attempting to perform a U-turn in Cotai. The woman died from severe injuries sustained in the traffic accident.

The car, a seven-seater van owned by a local junket operator, was being driven by a non-resident worker without a relevant work permit for driving the vehicle. 

After the accident, both lawmaker Sulu Sou and Leong Sun Iok submitted interpellations to the government regarding illegal drivers.

“In fact, the problems of [illegal] drivers have been repeatedly reported. […] Local hotels and casinos’ VIP rooms have many vehicles used for fetching and dropping off customers, and according to the professional drivers in Macau, it is quite common for non-locals to […] work as professional drivers,” Leong Sun Iok wrote in his inquiry.

“In 2017, the administration authority punished 154 people for their illegal engagement in driver work, however, only four employers were penalized for the illegal employment of non-local drivers,” Leong noted.

Leong requested that the government plan for an amendment of the law concerning illegal workers.

“Is the SAR government willing to actively present [a] one-way driving license recognition scheme to the Central Government on behalf of residents of the [Macau] SAR?” Sou asked in his interpellation.

Sou pointed out that as of today, the Macau public has not been consulted regarding the scheme.

“It is urgent to stop the bad policy which concerns [people’s] lives and safety. […] When will the SAR government officially launch a public consultation on the driver’s license mutual recognition scheme based on statutory guidelines and scientific research conclusions? Will the public decide whether the policy will be implemented or not?” Sou wrote.

The lawmakers also recalled that last week’s incident was not the first instance of a recent accident involving a mainland driver in Macau.

In July 2017, an elderly man was run over by a car driven by a mainland driver. Then in January 2018, a van driven by a mainlander crashed into a pedestrian who was at a zebra crossing. JZ

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