Sunday, 15 May 2011

Rogue Driver SHD352T Holland Road

Ms Sarita Tan informs the following on 14/05/2011:
I hailed a Trans Cab taxi at Holland road for a short ride to Minden road. I had my maid and my baby along with me. I hailed a trans cab taxi, I sat inside the taxi after my maid and my baby. After I closed the door, the driver asked me my destination. After I told him I wanted to go to minden road, he asked me where is it. I told him its very close and I will tell him when to take a right turn. He rudely told me to get off the taxi as he was going straight. I told him he should have told me that before we sat down and since it’s a very small right turn off the main road, I don’t want to get off.
He says “ you think you are a star, I will take you to police station”. By now he was shouting and angry and had started the taxi. I had no choice and I said ok lets go to police station. Then he says “ you are acting funny, I will take you to cemetry”. Now I was scared, I panicked and called 999 and complained that I have no idea why and where this taxi driver is taking me so please tell me what to do. The lady on the line took down the taxi no. twice and after I got down from the taxi suggested that I go to the nearest police station. I was in the middle of a road with a baby and another kid waiting to be picked up. The suggestion was good but I wish I had got that before I got down from the taxi. I had to walk 10 minutes to pick up my kid.
Of course in hindsight it would have been easier to just get down the taxi and take another one. But what is more important is to know whether it was right for the taxi driver to stop the taxi and let me sit down if he was willing to go only straight. And if he had that big a constraint and for some reason he had waited till we all had sat down and closed the door, could he have told me to get off the taxi less rudely, if expecting a apology or a smile was too much to expect. Or was it too much of a pain for him to take a short detour to take his passengers esp with a baby instead of shouting and threatening to take to police station and then to cemetery. And then drop me off in the middle of a main road.
How safe was it for him to drive in such a angry state of mind? Should I have just sat in the taxi and gone to police station with him? Why was he willing to take a detour to police station and waste my time and his time, but not a 1 minute detour? What made him so unhappy to take a passenger to the destination after making them sit down? He had the option of not stopping the taxi, or putting up shift change / on call sign. Do the drivers need some training on how to refuse a passenger or how to be communicate clearly and in time without causing inconvenience / insulting another human being.
You should have just called his bluff to 'drive to the cemetery'. Such a lazy driver would not have dared to actually do that - which is obvious from how he changed tact the moment you said alright to driving to the Police Station. As horrendous taxi drivers are a 'normal occurrence', the Police don't really take it too seriously as a matter of law & order. But we strongly encourage you not to let the matter rest as this driver is the type of terror driver that would probably leave someone dying on the road if he were to knock them down. Please lodge a report with LTA through their online feedback form which takes no more than 5 minutes to fill out. LTA has no choice but to take action against such drivers and when there are multiple complaints against a driver, they will be justified in removing the driver from our roads.

Most of these terror drivers are the way they are because they get away without repercussions time and time again because of passengers who are not well-informed or who are too busy to follow-up. Imagine if a rogue taxi driver only gets reported once every 10 incidents. The first time will be a warning, the second a warning again, and the third will be when he actually gets terminated. That means a total of 30 instances of terrorising the passenger before he is actually removed from the roads. And the best part, he will be able to join a second cab company after his first termination. That's a total of 60 instances! If all of us immediately report our experiences to LTA (and not the cab companies), this number can become as little as 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment