Don't allow those with poor safety records to drive taxis

Taxis waiting for passengers at Lucky Plaza, on Aug 7, 2019.
Taxis waiting for passengers at Lucky Plaza, on Aug 7, 2019.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

I was appalled to learn that the taxi driver whose negligence resulted in the death of National University of Singapore undergraduate Kathy Ong Kai Ting (Cabby in crash that killed NUS student gets eight weeks in jail, Aug 3) had a string of past traffic offences.

A pilot with a poor safety record would not be allowed to fly an airplane and be responsible for the lives of hundreds of people. Similarly, I feel that the Traffic Police and the Land Transport Authority should work together to impose stricter safety standards for drivers of taxis and private-hire vehicles, as they are responsible for the lives of the public.

Drivers with a record of serious traffic offences such as speeding and beating the red light should not be allowed to operate taxis or private-hire vehicles until they have gone through safety retraining and been monitored by the authorities for a specified period of time.

We should not wait for a tragic accident to occur before realising that the driver at fault had a poor safety record. And this history only captures the times that the driver was caught, and not the other times he may have been driving recklessly.

Jacqueline Lim Cheng Mui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2019, with the headline 'Don't allow those with poor safety records to drive taxis'. Print Edition | Subscribe