Friday, 25 November 2011

Reader Opinion: Taxi Drivers Involved in 14% of Accidents

On 25/11/2011, mightymo informs the following:

"From online and other data sources I discovered that Singapore Taxi’s account for 3% of total vehicle population but shockingly Singapore Taxi Drivers are involved in 14% of all reported road accidents. According to online portal AsiaOne Motoring, Taxis are involved in approximately 60 accidents a day (source: AsiaOne)!

Do drivers of service vehicles in Singapore, carelessly go about on public roads getting involved in accidents knowing full well that their daily earnings will be taken care of, in the event that they be involved in an accident. This is unacceptable and irresponsible behaviour by public and service transport providers.

I am concerned because there is also statistical data revealing that there has been an increase in elderly pedestrian fatalities. Additionally, I have come across more and more motorist (motorcyclists included) who are mounting cameras as a safe guard, in their vehicles. Is this what road behaviour has come to in Singapore.

The question is; before the advent of lane markings, traffic lights and technical regulatory devices in place would a taxi driver behaved such? The answer is that most would have slowed down because there is an intersection and the taxi driver would have slow down his earnings would be severely affected should he not be operational.

It seems that a significant proportion of Singapore Taxi Drivers appear only bright enough to be governed by lights, rules and regulations, as the majority lack good common sense and care! Why is it that drivers of these vehicles do not realize that the signals, speed limits, signs and lines on our roads can only act to help bring about safer road use, the devices themselves do not bring about road safety! There is a second part to this equation and this rests with the intellect of the individual.

I have a suggestion to make that will see one influential group of drivers change their driving habits and improve Singapore safety statistics immediately. This should be directed at Taxi Drivers and Operators for a start.

Public service vehicle insurance policies should be amended to exclude any claims that will cover Rental Cost and Income Losses for hirers involved in traffic accidents. Taxi Drivers, who are hirers cannot possibly be treated as clients renting a vehicle for personal use with an option to recover costs of use.

On last check Taxi Drivers are registered as being Self Employed are they not? Does this mean that a taxi driver can go on a paid holiday when his vehicle is laid up for accident repairs and are current policies funding such? It appears obvious that this policy change will immediately see road behavior improve and accident rates decrease with this influential group of road users.

Consequently we should also see the number of insurance claims reduce (inflated or not) alongside an improved taxi service, with fuller fleet representation."

If only we could change the system in such a way! But the authorities are none too bothered because only the (powerless) middle-class use this mode of transport. Ministers, MPs, CEOs and chairmen of regulatory bodies almost never have to experience a taxi ride.

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