Date
20 October 2017
A Hong Kong taxi driver suffered cuts to his forehead after being hit with a glass bottle by an irate passenger Wednesday night. Photos: HKEJ, Apple Daily
A Hong Kong taxi driver suffered cuts to his forehead after being hit with a glass bottle by an irate passenger Wednesday night. Photos: HKEJ, Apple Daily

A taxi brawl turns ugly in Hong Kong

Confrontations between passengers and taxi drivers are not too uncommon in Hong Kong, but it is only rare that such quarrels take a violent turn as happened in an incident Wednesday night.

Headline News reports that a passenger slammed a glass bottle onto the head of a taxi driver and fled after a heated argument with the driver. The reason for the ugly brawl: the passenger — who was accompanied by a female companion — suspected that the driver was making a detour instead of taking the shortest route to the destination.

The couple is said to have got into the taxi on Maple Street in Tai Kwok Tsui and asked to be taken to the Kowloon City neighborhood. The duo argued with the driver as they thought he was making a detour. The male passenger became so angry that he got off the taxi at the junction of Shanghai Street and Mongkok Road and hit the driver on the head with a glass bottle, the report said. 

The couple then fled in the direction of Shanghai Street while the driver — a 60-year-old person with the surname Lee — had to go to a hospital to get his injuries treated.

The police are looking for the assailant, who is said to be aged around 30 years and wearing blue jeans at the time of the incident.

Taxi drivers should take their customers to the destination using the most direct and feasible way. Passengers can report to the police with a bill receipt if they suspect a driver had made a detour, according to the law.

In July, a taxi driver was arrested as he overcharged a passenger. A plain-clothed policeman pretended to be a passenger and asked to be taken from The Peak to Wanchai Pier. The taxi driver charged him HK$300 (US$38.6) instead of the usual fare of HK$220, following which the driver was arrested, Wen Wei Po reported late last month.

The Peak is a profitable place for taxi drivers to hang around as many people would not want to wait for one or two hours to get on the tram or take a bus back to Central, the report noted.

In another incident, a taxi driver taking a person from the airport to Kwai Chung was arrested as he charged the passenger HK$540 instead of the normal fare of HK$220. The passenger was also a plain-clothed policeman.

Elsewhere, Lan Kwai Fong in Central is also a black spot as some taxi drivers there ask for higher fares.

Related stories:

Foreigners fall prey to new taxi scam

Uber unlikely to dent Hong Kong taxi market near term

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