• Thu. Dec 9th, 2021

The crackdown begins: 10 enforcement taxi drivers fined, 33 under target | Calcutta News

ByElla E. Kidwell

Nov 19, 2021
Calcutta: Ten enforcement taxi drivers have been fined by traffic police over the past week for demanding a higher fare or behaving rudely with customers. Thirty-three other people have been identified and should be summoned to the Lalbazar police headquarters.
As the police could not fine taxi drivers for refusal due to certain technical-legal constraints, they penalized the drivers for being rude or asking for extra money, an officer said.
The police action follows multiple complaints from the app’s taxi passengers against drivers, who demand more than the fare or refuse to show up for the ride. Very often, drivers call passengers after reservations have been made to ask for the destination, just as metered taxis do when they are flagged down. Many of them also want to know the method of payment. If the destinations are not suitable for them or the method of payment is not in cash, many of them refuse the ride but they refuse to cancel the reservations as this would result in a penalty.
In some complaints, bikers said seven-eight drivers canceled trips, leaving them stranded for long periods of time until a driver eventually got on. Police said they have also received complaints about drivers charging extra fees. “We tell the application taxi drivers that they cannot behave badly with the passengers. The culprits are identified, warned and even prosecuted, ”said a police officer. Senior police officers had previously advised aggrieved passengers to take screenshots of their reservations and report refusals. Since then, the cops have been inundated with complaints, which are passed on to the special raiding section.
Kolkata traffic police said they were seeking help from their legal cell on how to book denial cases by public transport aggregators. In Hyderabad, Cyberabad police threatened aggregators with accusations of aiding and abetting if they refused to disclose details of denial cases. Kolkata Police are also planning to ask all app taxi aggregators to share their cancellation policies.
“We will be asking questions about the permit provisions. An application booth is not like a normal government car, which can be flagged on the road. It is booked through an app service, where the app taxi companies don’t even own the vehicles. Thus, they conclude a multi-clause contract with their partner drivers. Once we have studied the documents, we will ask the app taxi companies how they intended to solve the problem, and then state our measures, ”said an officer.


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