City to crack down on illegally-parked taxis
HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi Police Department has started to crack down on taxis that illegally park outside crowded places, such as schools, hospitals, restaurants and hotels, causing traffic jams.
|Taxis block Giai Phong Road to pick up customers. Drivers say there are not enough taxi stands at major pickup areas, requiring them to stop in the street. – VNA/VNS Photo Bui Tuong
Senior lieutenant-colonel Dao Vinh Thang, acting head of the city's police department, said that the massive number of taxis and the low awareness of drivers was creating traffic chaos at crowded places.
He said the enforcement, which began yesterday till the end of this year, would nab drivers for illegally parking outside these places for more than 30 minutes, parking in wrong places, illegally picking up passengers, going on banned roads and scrambling for passengers between taxis.
The municipal Department of Transport has built 32 taxi ranks in seven districts in the inner city for taxis to park, pick up and return passengers. However, the number is considered inadequate.
According to Thang, police have established 12 teams of three to five police to patrol these crowded places.
He also suggested that the municipal departments of health and transport should co-operate in this enforcement.
Thang said the Department of Transport should add more taxi ranks, especially in safe and convenient places in the inner city and place ‘no parking' signs in front of hospitals.
He also said the Department of Health should instruct central hospitals to sign contracts with taxi companies to assure traffic flowed and that hospitals should provide more parking in their grounds and a security force to guide taxis.
Dao Van My, a taxi driver with Mai Linh Taxi Corporation, said that picking up passengers in banned areas was the a common violation by drivers.
"I can't tell my customers to walk to taxi ranks so I can pick them up legally. I stop briefly enough for them to get in or I'll lose business," he said.
My said he knew he was risking a fine of up to VND1 million (US$48) and having his licence revoked for a month, but he still "had to do it'.
My said he earned about VND5 million ($240) a month but no company compensation for traffic fines.
Currently, there are 112 taxi enterprises in the city and a total of 18,500 taxis. According to estimations, by 2015, Ha Noi will have 21,000 taxis. This is expected to increase to 26,000 by 2020. — VNS