Parliament: 355 cases of taxi fare evasion, 162 cases of driver assault over last three years

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew brought up the issue of taxi drivers welfare after receiving figures of 355 cases of fare evasion and 162 cases of assault by passengers.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew brought up the issue of taxi drivers welfare after receiving figures of 355 cases of fare evasion and 162 cases of assault by passengers. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - There were 355 cases of fare evasion and 162 cases of passengers assaulting taxi drivers over the last three years, said Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew in a written parliamentary reply to a question from Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC).

Ms Lee had asked for the figures and also if the government was considering raising the penalties for offenders and making insurance mandatory for drivers.

Mr Lui said that the ministry has assessed that the penalties are appropriate for now but it will continue to review them regularly.

Passengers who are found guilty of fare evasion may be fined up to $1,000, and repeat offenders may be fined up to $2,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both. Those who are found guilty of assaulting taxi drivers can be fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to two years, or both.

Taxi drivers are also covered under the Protection from Harassment Act, which was enacted last year. Under this Act, offenders face a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both.

On the question of insurance, Mr Lui noted that "different drivers have different needs and some may decide that they do not need as much insurance as others".

"This is a decision best left to individual drivers," he said.