New Laws for Grab and Uber Drivers
Amidst the slew of alternative modes of transportation come two very familiar powerhouses on Singapore’s roads, both vying for a share of the private hire-car pie. These are none other than Grab and Uber.
In the interests of protecting drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike, the government passed some new laws on July 1 specifically for this group of drivers and operators. Three key regulations are listed below:
- All such private-hire drivers are required to obtain a special Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL). One of the requirements for this is to attend and pass a 10-hour course.
- All such chauffeur-driven private-hire cars are required to have affixed onto their cars tamper-evident decals, on the front and back windscreens, to indicate they are registered private cars. The purpose for this is to facilitate enforcement against offences such as unregistered cars providing chauffeured services, or private hire cars picking up passengers by street hail.
- No such private-hire cars are allowed to stop or park at designated taxi stands.
For applying for a PVDL, similar to applications for the Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence, the LTA considers the nature of the offence when assessing applications of ex-offenders. This is done to protect the general safety of passengers. Those who have committed extremely serious offences (e.g. rape, murder, kidnap) are barred from obtaining a PDVL for life, and those who have committed less serious offences (e.g. housebreaking, cheating) are barred for a few years from the date of conviction, after which their applications will be considered if they have reformed. Other offences which do not pose danger to the physical safety of the public (e.g. forgery) do not attract any disbarment.
The tamper-evident decals will be inspected when private hire cars undergo vehicle inspections, and owners who fail will not be allowed to renew their road tax.
- In July, 4 drivers were charged for operating without the required vocational licence or a concession letter allowing them to pick up fairs whilst awaiting the same
- Another 23 drivers were found obscuring or altering or driving without decals
- As of 31 July, LTA has received 50,600 PDVL applications
- About 42,000 such cars have been affixed with these new decals
- 526 such cars have been caught parking or stopping at taxi stands in the first 7 months of this year
Presently, under the Road Traffic Act, the penalty for any of the three offences for first timers is a fine of up to $1,000, or a jail term of up to three months, or both. Repeat offenders may face a fine of up to $2,000, or a jail term of up to six months, or both.