Ensure private-hire car drivers are qualified

I was appalled to learn that many private-hire car drivers are young and inexperienced, and that one driver involved in an accident was underage and uninsured ("Tougher to claim against private-hire cars: Lawyers"; Jan 28).

These cases raise the question of whether operators like Uber and Grab perform proper checks to ensure their drivers are really qualified.

With the exponential growth in the number of private-hire cars, the operators have a responsibility to other road users to ensure their drivers are qualified and have a reasonable number of accident-free years of driving under their belt before being hired.

More insurance claims and higher premiums are incomparable to the heartbreak of families if unqualified drivers cause fatal accidents.

I urge the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to take a serious view of the low entry barrier for private-hire car drivers.

For a start, it should review the policy of allowing 21-year-olds to be private-hire car drivers.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2017, with the headline 'Ensure private-hire car drivers are qualified'. Print Edition | Subscribe