Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Abu Dhabi transport authorities to fine illegal taxis

Narada Desk | May 15, 2016 2:55 pm Print
Illegal taxi drivers will be fined Dh30,000 and unlicensed transport companies will be made to shutdown in Abu Dhabi

As an amendment to an existing law that prohibits  unlicensed taxi drivers will pay a fine of up to Dh30,000 and may face deportation if caught, Gulf News reported.

Mohammad Al Qemzi, general manager of the Centre for Regulation of Hire Cars (TransAD), reported that revision will also give the centre the authority to close down companies which illegally transport passengers.

The law is in its final stages and is currently getting the necessary approvals from the Executive Council. It is expected to come into effect very soon,he added

Many companies like Uber, an app-based taxi service provider, can be punished within the proposed legal framework.

Unlike its business model abroad, within the UAE, Uber responded that  there company only uses well-vetted drivers who have been licensed by the local regulatory authority in the emirate they work in.

There’s luxury car services use the pre-existing pool of drivers that is licensed by the RTA and TransAD,an Uber official, reports to Golf News.

However, TransAD has refuted this statement, adding that it has personally spoken to individuals who moonlight as Uber drivers using rented high-end vehicles.

Al Qemzi said that If caught, these drivers will be penalised now and will be scrutinised even more under the upcoming amendment.

This is because drivers unlicensed by TransAD do not undergo stringent medical and criminal checks mandated by the company.

Passengers riding in cars with drivers who are unlicensed by regulatory authorities cannot possibly know whether the driver is safe and free of communicable diseases. Passengers would not be sure that the vehicle itself is licensed, insured or even well-maintained. TransAD car insurance also covers passengers in case of an incident,he added.

TransAD does not have access to the database for companies operating outside the centre’s umbrella.This means that we are unable to track drivers, the cars or even collect information that helps decision makers make plans and strategies regarding traffic and transport .

Additionally, the fares being charged by non-regulated transport companies and individuals undercut the current TransAD tariffs.

Therefore, residents are advised to be vigilant when booking a taxi ride and are urged to adhere to using state-regulated services as these are the most thoroughly vetted and inspected, the official said.