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New penalty points system to be introduced for Thai taxis from next year

Flickr/Panu Tangchalermkul

A new penalty points system will be introduced for rogue taxi, tuk-tuk, and motorbike taxi drivers from January 1, 2023, in an effort to improve customer service. The points system was supposed to have come into effect in December of last year but was delayed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dare we say we’ve heard all this before…

The points system aims to improve the behaviour and reputation of Thailand’s taxi drivers, as well as promoting passenger safety. Drivers will have points deducted each time they’re found to have committed an offence, according to a statement from the Department of Land Transport.

“Each public vehicle driver will start with 100 points, which will be deducted every time an offence is committed. Once all points are gone, the driver’s licence will be suspended.”

Offences are graded category 1, 2, or 3 and taxi drivers risk losing 10, 20, or 30 points, depending on the severity of their offence. Category 1 offences include failing to display driver ID and use of an unregistered vehicle. Category 2 includes not using the meter and refusing to pick up passengers. Category 3 offences include behaving obscenely towards passengers, reckless driving, tampering with the meter, and consuming alcohol or other intoxicants (more than 50mg per 100ml of blood).

According to a Nation Thailand report, the Thai Taxi Driver Federation says very serious offences could see drivers lose all their points immediately.

“Some serious offences will result in all points being deducted immediately, including offences that affect the country’s image or reputation, driving with no consideration to people’s safety and wellbeing, and causing accidents resulting in multiple injuries or deaths.”

Once a driver loses all their points, his or her driving licence will be suspended for 90 days. If a driver’s licence is suspended twice in a 3-year period, the driver will lose his or her licence for 180 days. In order to recover their deducted points, drivers will have to take training courses run by the DLT and pass an exam. Taking a 2 hour training course will see them win back 50 points, while a 4 hour course will award them 100 points.

Drivers can take the training once a year and those who fail the exam can retake it up to 3 times in a 7-day period.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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