500 taxi drivers in Hanoi fined for driving time violation

Some 463 taxi drivers in Hanoi have had their badge revoked for violating a regulation on driving time set by the municipal Department of Transport.

The Hanoi Department of Transport in July this year issued the regulation that all taxi drivers in the city who are found to driver the taxi for four consecutive hours without a rest will have their badge confiscated for a month.

Since the regulation was applied, up to 463 taxi drivers have been found to have violated the regulation. As a result, their taxi badge has been revoked.

k The regulation however faces opposition from the Hanoi Automobile Transport Association as well as the city's taxi firms.

Nguyen Minh Hong, Director of Nguyen Minh Taxi Company, said that under the regulation, taxi drivers have to take a rest for at least 15 minutes while driving for four consecutive hours.

According to Hong, the regulation is only suitable for drivers of passenger cars who drive on fixed routes, not taxis. It is impossible to request taxi drivers to take a rest while they are taking passengers for emergency aid, Hong added.

In reality, taxi drivers often take a short rest of between 4-5 minutes among trips; however, this is not recognised by GPS. So, their total rest time per day is even more than 15 minutes.

To avoid being fined, drivers have to refuse passengers when the driving time is approximately 4 hours or even ask passengers for a 15-minute stop to ensure the regulated rest time.

Meanwhile, Hanoi currently lacks parking lots, so, in many cases, it is not easy for taxi drivers to find a parking place.

Bui Danh Lien, Chairman of the Hanoi Automobile Transport Association, said that the association has sent a document to the Ministry of Transport to ask for the regulation to be revised.

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