Date
21 July 2017
A taxi driver was arrested for asking more than twice the normal fare and not using the meter. Photos: HKEJ, Apple Daily
A taxi driver was arrested for asking more than twice the normal fare and not using the meter. Photos: HKEJ, Apple Daily

Punishment for overcharging taxi drivers too lenient

A taxi driver was arrested in the early hours of Sunday for allegedly overcharging a passenger who turned out to be an undercover policeman.

The 64-year-old taxi driver, surnamed Yau, sought HK$150 as fare for the the trip from Lyndhurst Terrace in Central to a hotel on 138 Java Road in North Point, when it should only have cost HK$60 by the meter, Apple Daily reported on Monday.

Yau will now face three charges, namely overcharging taxi fares, failing to display a taxi driver identification card, and failing to use the taxi meter. He said it was the first time he has overcharged a customer.

Yau was released on bail pending further investigation by the police.

Sources close to the police said punishment for overcharging could be too lenient as the problem has not improved despite frequent arrest operations.

Taxi drivers convicted of overcharging are normally fined around HK$3,000 without any suspension of their driving license.

A police source said a six-month suspension of the driving license should be handed out along with the fines.

Taxi Associations Federation chairman Choi Keung said he supports the plan to raise the penalty for overcharging, especially for repeat offenders.

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EL/AC/CG

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