PLTO continues crackdown on illegal taxis

FILE PHOTO: The PLTO is going after unlicensed cars being used as taxis, and taxis operating outside their permitted use.

The Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) and Sakhu Police have apprehended four more drivers for illegally operating their vehicles as taxis in Phuket. The joint operation took place at a checkpoint set up at the Sakhu-Nai Yang intersection on Thepkrasattri Rd in Mai Khao and resulted in the stop of two taxis registered in Bangkok with green plates and two privately registered vehicles, one from Bangkok and the other from Nakhon Si Thammarat.

In accordance with the law, the PLTO will impose fines and could potentially suspend taxi drivers’ licenses.

These recent arrests follow the confirmation of five illegal taxi drivers being caught picking up and dropping off passengers at the airport last Friday. During the PLTO’s random inspections, one green plate taxi driver registered in Bangkok and the drivers of four private cars operating as taxis were fined, and each driver may also face having their license suspended.

The crackdown on illegal taxi drivers came in response to a protest held by 100 Phuket green-plate taxi drivers at the Phuket Provincial Hall last Thursday. Similar protests took place in December in Pattaya.

In response, Vice Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrambam, acting on behalf of the Governor of Phuket, issued a formal notice ordering all government agencies to act to curb the illegal activity. The notice instructed the Phuket Provincial Police and the PLTO to consider revoking the drivers’ licenses and the vehicle registration of repeat offenders as punishment as required by law.

Defending the PLTO’s actions, PLTO Chief Adcha Buachan explained that the organization had run major social media campaigns warning against illegal taxi operations and had acted many complaints filed.

“From Sept 9, 2022, to Jan 31, 2023, we have acted on all 90 complaints received about this, with 33 cases resulting in fines, and [the remaining] 57 cases are still being processed. The PLTO will work with the Phuket Provincial Police to monitor and arrest illegal taxis and take strict legal action. The PLTO will investigate the facts and take further legal steps.”

The PLTO chief encouraged the public to report any illegal taxis by calling the taxi complaint hotline 1584, contacting the PLTO through its LINE account @704jhnxb, Facebook page, or the Traffy Fondue application.

Phuket NewsTransport News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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