MONDAY, April 15, 2024

Taxi drivers who refuse tourists are hurting Thailand’s image, say police

Taxi drivers who refuse tourists are hurting Thailand’s image, say police

Taxis that refuse to pick up foreign tourists during heavy rain are damaging Thailand’s reputation as a tourism destination, police said on Saturday.

The Tourist Police Bureau has received a spate of complaints via its 1155 hotline about taxi drivers refusing tourists when it rains, bureau spokesman Apichat Suriboonya said.

“Many cab drivers refused to pick up passengers who hailed them in tourist areas, particularly during heavy rain. This act is severely damaging the image of Thailand’s tourism,” Apichat said.

This “lack of professionalism” could undermine Thailand’s competitiveness in the global tourism market, he added.

Apichat advised rejected passengers to take a photo of the taxi’s licence number and report it via the 1155 hotline.

“The Tourist Police will then work with relevant agencies, particularly the Department of Land Transport, to take action against the cab drivers responsible,” the spokesman said.

Those found guilty would face punishment that could severely affect their occupation.

Bangkokians have complained for years about taxi drivers refusing waiting passengers, particularly during rain or rush hours. It is illegal under the Land Traffic Act for cabbies to refuse hailing passengers. Taxi drivers who break the law face a fine of up to 1,000 baht and possible confiscation of their driving licence.

Complaints by taxi passengers of being rejected numbered about 50,000 in 2018, up 10,000 from a year earlier, according to Department of Land Transport records. Up to 80 per cent of the cab drivers responsible were punished, according to the agency.

Complaints can be filed with the department’s Public Passenger Protection Centre hotline at 1584, and with the Traffic Police 1197 hotline.