LTA to look into rule requiring cabbies to search vehicles for lost items, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

LTA to look into rule requiring cabbies to search vehicles for lost items

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The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will look at how to encourage cabbies and private-hire drivers to check their vehicles for belongings left behind by passengers, as part of a broader review of best practices for such drivers.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor on Monday said the LTA is working with operators and driver associations on the review, and will share the outcome when ready.

She was responding to Mr Don Wee (Chua Chu Kang GRC) and Ms Yeo Wan Ling (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) on the rule that requires drivers to ensure passengers do not leave things behind after a trip.

Their questions came on the back of the LTA withdrawing a warning issued to a taxi driver for failing to search his vehicle for a wallet accidentally left behind by his passenger, after appeals by the cabby’s MP and the National Taxi Association.

Ms Yeo said then that the taxi and private-hire community was concerned about the warning.

Dr Khor said the rule is not meant to be punitive, but instead to encourage a good practice.

Since 2010, LTA has issued five written warnings to drivers, which do not carry any penalty.

Dr Khor said the authority has not fined or imposed demerit points on drivers for non-compliance.

“(The rule) is meant to serve the interests of drivers, as it aims to avoid disputes when passengers leave belongings in their vehicles,” she added.

Drivers are not expected to stop their vehicles and get out of their seats to check for items left behind by passengers, she noted.

“Instead, a quick visual scan from the driver’s seat will be sufficient.”

Drivers are taught this practice during their vocational licence training, she said.

Dr Khor noted that passengers are also reminded to be responsible for their belongings when taking trips, citing how some operators send app notification reminders to passengers at the end of trips to prevent things from being left behind.

Also raised in Parliament were questions on how the Government regulates ownership of personal mobility aids (PMAs), and whether it will tighten requirements to prevent abuse.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng said the Active Mobility Advisory Panel will review the rules and regulations that apply to PMAs. These rules and regulations cover wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters designed to carry an individual who is unable to walk or has walking difficulties.

The review will include setting pre-conditions for a person to use PMAs.

LTAtaxiAmy Khor