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Taxi drivers protest rest time regulation

Update: October, 17/2016 - 11:16
Taxi drivers in Hà Nội have complained about a regulation forbidding them from driving for more than four consecutive hours. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Taxi drivers in Hà Nội have complained about a regulation forbidding them from driving for more than four consecutive hours.

According to the Transport Ministry’s circular 9, since July this year, taxi drivers who drive nonstop for more than four hours will have their taxi licence revoked for a month. Drivers must also stop their cars and rest for at least 15 minutes for each stop during four hours.

The driving time is based on GPS, which is transmitted from Việt Nam Road Administration to the city’s transport department.

This regulation aims to help drivers ensure their health but many drivers say it is inappropriate.

In August alone, 463 taxi licences were revoked in the city.

Nguyễn Hồng Minh, director of Nguyên Minh taxi firm said that the regulation is only appropriate for coach and truck drivers who drive long journeys.

When passengers are on the way to a hospital in an emergency or the taxi is on a highway, it is impossible to stop even when the running time reaches four hours, he said.

Representatives of taxi companies also claimed that the total rest time in a day for a driver can be hours. However, when they rest for a few minutes after each fare, GPS does not recognise it.

“GPS is a machine and only records stopping time if it lasts at least 15 minutes. It cannot listen to us,” said Nguyễn Văn Đào, a taxi driver of Sao Thủ Đô taxi company.

To avoid punishment, many drivers refuse to drive when their working time reaches four hours or ask passengers if they can stop for 15-minutes to ensure regulated resting time.

Taxi drivers complained that in big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City, there is a lack of parking spots so they have to drive around the city without passengers and sometimes unintentionally violate regulations.

This has degraded quality of service. The taxi licence revocation can leave taxi drivers unemployed for a month while transport enterprises suffer economic losses and their brand is harmed.

Last month, Hà Nội’s Transport Association proposed to the Transport Ministry that the regulation be adjusted.

“We suggested allowing drivers to take a rest several times, for three to five minutes instead of 15 minutes,” Bùi Danh Liên, chairman of Hà Nội’s Transport Association said.

In response to the proposal, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Hồng Trường asked relevant agencies to study and submit to the ministry an adjustment.


Violators still have to be subjected to punishment, Trường said. — VNS


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