THE Macau Taxi Association expressed its concerns regarding the enforcement of the new taxi regulations that came into effect on June 3, noting that some law enforcement officers have yet to clearly understand the taxi regulations.
The new taxi law, which imposes higher fines for infractions and the mandatory installation of sound and video devices in the vehicles, has received negative feedback from taxi drivers, according to the deputy president of the association, Tai Kam Leong.
“So far, there are more negative than positive opinions in our industry since the implementation [of the new regulations],” Tai said.
Some drivers complained that some regulations are unreasonable, while others worry that police officers misunderstand the articles.
For example, the drivers criticized the heavier penalty for failing to remember to put down the meter sign compared to refusing to take a passenger, with a few of them already being fined MOP15,000.
“Three or four taxi drivers were fined MOP15,000 just because they forgot to start the taxi meter while driving, […] but for refusing to take passengers they are only fined MOP3,000,” said Tai.
“How come? It doesn’t make sense, I don’t think this is the purpose of the regulations,” the association’s deputy president added.
The city’s taxi drivers have 18 months to install voice and video recording devices in their taxi vehicles. However, they have yet to wait for the government to award a public contract to the company that will provide such devices.
Tai is also disappointed that taxi drivers may have to pay the maintenance fee of the devices, from which they do not benefit.
“The government hopes for us to pay a maintenance fee [of about MOP10 per day], but we think it is unfair for taxi drivers to pay. It’s the government that will use that recorded data, not us,” Tai remarked.
Until June 9, the Public Security Police Force had imposed fines for 15 taxi infractions since the enforcement of new regulations.
Transport Advisory Committee Member Cheang Ka Hou believes that the new law is effective in regulating drivers.