Regulating ride-sharing apps a good move

Kudos to the Government for introducing a new Bill to amend the Road Traffic Act, so that the authorities are empowered to impose a suspension order of up to a month on an errant ride-hailing app ("Bid to regulate ride apps timely"; Jan 14)

All ride-hailing apps function as facilitators between the passenger and the driver.

Some ride-hailing apps have formed subsidiaries to lease cars to drivers who consequently commit to the pool of drivers providing services in response to the ride-hailing apps.

Therefore , there is no direct contractual relationship between the ride-hailing app operators and the hirer as well as the passengers of the private-hire car service.

But the ride-hailing app operators cannot delegate their responsibilities as service providers to the drivers and exonerate themselves on the basis of extensive disclaimers and indemnities stipulated in the terms and conditions of the respective ride-hailing apps.

The prospect of a suspension order of up to one month on errant ride-hailing apps will ensure that all such operators exercise due diligence and comply with fair trade practices.

The safety, security and comfort of car hirers and passengers are paramount .

Sum Kam Weng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2017, with the headline 'Regulating ride-sharing apps a good move'. Print Edition | Subscribe