SINGAPORE - The taxi driver kneeling and begging for mercy in a widely circulated photo had been fined $200 for smoking in his taxi.
The fine was issued to him on the spot by National Environment Agency (NEA) officers, the agency said on Friday (Oct 4).
NEA said that its officers caught the taxi driver smoking on Thursday.
The agency said the ComfortDelGro taxi driver was caught smoking on Thursday at 12.30pm with the windows wound down along Mount Elizabeth Road.
"The officers notified the driver of the offence before issuing him a ticket of $200 for smoking in a public service vehicle," said NEA.
Under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act, anyone caught smoking in a prohibited place or a public service vehicle may face a composition fine of $200, or up to the maximum court fine of $1,000, NEA warned.
The law was extended to include private-hire vehicles, such as Grab vehicles in 2017.
In the widely circulated photo, the male taxi driver is seen on his knees begging two enforcement officers who are wearing Certis caps.
When contacted, a Certis spokesman said that its enforcement officers spotted the cabby smoking inside his taxi.
As part of procedures, the officers asked for the man’s particulars and proceeded to issue a notice to him.
"When the man alighted and knelt on the road to further ask for leniency to avoid being summoned, our officers quickly asked him not to do so and coaxed him to return to his vehicle," said the Certis spokesman.
"Throughout the conversation, our officers remained polite and professional with him."
Taxi drivers told The Straits Times that the $200 fine amounts to about two days of earnings for a cabby.
ST has contacted ComfortDelGro for more information.