• License suspension awaits rude cab drivers

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    A suspended license on top of fines await arrogant taxi drivers.

    These sanctions were made possible after the House transportation committee approved a committee report on the unnumbered Substitute Bill on Taxi Passengers’ Bill of Rights, which penalizes choosy and vulgar taxi driver.

    The bill is authored by Harlin Abayon of Samar, Gloria and Dato Arroyo of Pampanga and Camarines Sur, respectively, Helen Tan of Quezon, Lucy Torres of Leyte, Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City (Metro Manila), Estrelita Suansing of Nueva Ecija and Cesar Sarmiento of Catanduanes.

    Under the measure, drivers will be facing sanctions if they fail to dress up properly; be courteous; pick up and transport passengers to their stated destination regardless of the length of the journey or traffic condition by any available on duty taxi driver; direct the most economical route that is safe for both the passenger and the taxi; observe the duly calibrated fare meter; and give the exact amount of change to the passenger.

    In addition, it mandates the taxi drivers to maintain a clean, safe, smoke-free and in good condition taxi units; foster a quiet or silent atmosphere throughout the trip upon request; allow the passengers to decide on the air conditioning and lighting system; bans refusal on multiple hiring; and provide a substitute taxi ready to fill in if the taxi unit suddenly breaks down.

    Erring drivers will have to pay P1,000 to P5,000 in fines, depending on the number of times the offense is committed, on top of having their driver’s license suspended from seven days to one year, also depending on the number of times the offense is committed.

    The same penalties will be slapped on the operator of the taxi that employs a rude driver.

    In addition, the erring driver or operator will undergo an education seminar and failure to attend will be a ground for non-reinstatement of the driver’s license of the driver or suspension of the franchise of the operator.

    Aggrieved passengers may file a complaint against the driver or operator of the taxi with the Land Transportation and Franchise Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

    The LTFRB is then mandated to conduct an investigation and resolve a complaint not later than seven working days after mediation or seven working days after adjudication–all without prejudice to the filing of a civil or criminal complaint.

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