Connect with us


Phuket Opinion: Coordinate manpower to corral illegal taxis



Manaporn Likitmanon, a 31-year-old Songkhla native, was a Police Investigator at Samut Sakhon Immigration from 2008 to 2012 before returning south last year to become a Highways Police Inspector covering the tri-province area of Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. Here he talks about how to solve the problem of metered and illegal taxis in Phuket.

PHUKET: We have received many complaints about taxis – about drivers who refuse to pick up passengers; who don’t turn on the meter; who abandon passengers during the trip; who are impolite to passengers; and who drive illegal taxis.

The problems are ongoing in Phuket, but I’m confident they won’t be hard to solve if relevant organizations work together to tackle them. I’m absolutely sure we can stamp out these problems, but we need the cooperation of the taxi companies and we also need to strictly enforce the law in order to control the drivers.

The first thing we need to do is have all concerned organizations meet together to improve our understanding of what each groups’ plan for attacking the problems is and how those plans can be coordinated to improve efficiency.

Secondly, the taxi company owners have to train their drivers better. The drivers need to be taught the right way to behave when dealing with customers.

Penalties are also an important way to force taxi drivers to follow the law. Currently, penalties are marginal compared to the amount of money drivers make. Drivers aren’t worried about the penalties for breaking the law because they can earn a lot of money in a short time serving tourists and can pay the fines easily.

The maximum fine for drivers who refuse to turn on their meters is 1,000 baht and the maximum fine for drivers who operate illegal taxis is 2,000 baht.

The penalties must be higher and have a more significant impact on the drivers who are caught breaking the law.

We use checkpoints to catch taxi drivers illegally conducting business, but the way we’ve set them up – once a day for two hours in fixed locations – is not very effective. Drivers who have been caught let other drivers know about the checkpoint by calling, radioing or chatting on social networks.

This is why we catch only a few drivers at a time at checkpoints.

Last month at our checkpoint we caught between 10 and 20 drivers who hadn’t turned their meters on and five drivers operating “black” taxis – not properly registered vehicles. I think this number is very low when compared to the number of taxi drivers actually violating laws in Phuket.

What we need to do is have checkpoints more than once a day, and we need to set them up at different locations, so drivers won’t know about them in advance.

Some people think we should set up checkpoints at the airport itself, but I disagree for two reasons. First, we can’t do it unless the airport asks for it, and second, if the taxi drivers know we are there, they’ll all follow the rules – I’d rather use a checkpoint to catch the drivers who are the rule-breakers.

I’d also like to send in undercover officers to pose as passengers.

However, like many organizations, we have insufficient manpower to do everything we want to do. In addition to catching traffic-law violators on the road, we’re responsible for taking care of special guests who come to the area. This three-province area is very popular and has a lot of special guests, such as those who attended the World Buffalo Congress in early May.

This is another reason we need to cooperate with other departments, to pool our manpower.

We are working with the Phuket Land Transport Office and we also have 30 volunteers helping us with checkpoints and various other projects.

It’s important for Phuket’s tourist image for taxi drivers to turn on their meters every time and to follow the law.

— Irfarn Jamdukor


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Law32 mins ago

Pakistan’s transgenders dragged back into Dark Ages

Thailand1 hour ago

Thais unhappy with Prawit’s response to daycare centre massacre

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand lowers flags to half-mast to mourn daycare centre massacre victims

Sponsored4 hours ago

5 reasons why Thailand educators shouldn’t miss Bett Asia in Bangkok this year

Philippines2 hours ago

‘Strange and unusual’ punishment for Filipino lottery winners

Guides2 hours ago

5 posh places for a relaxing afternoon tea in Bangkok

Weather2 hours ago

Floods in NE Thailand claimed the lives of 3 people

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime2 hours ago

Colleagues reveal daycare killer prone to mood swings

Hot News2 hours ago

US sanctions Myanmar junta-linked businessman over buying Russian-made arms

Thailand2 hours ago

King, Queen and PM Prayut to visit mass shooting victims in northeast Thailand

Guides3 hours ago

What are the common international school curriculums in Thailand? What should you choose?

Hot News3 hours ago

US forces take down three senior ISIS figures in Syria

Bangkok3 hours ago

LIV golfers trundle pointlessly into Bangkok’s ‘billionaire’s paradise’

Hot News3 hours ago

Suitcase in Japan held different kind of explosives as bomb squad finds sex toys

Crime3 hours ago

The world mourns mass shooting at northeast Thailand daycare centre

Hot News3 hours ago

World’s oldest dog Pebbles dies at age 22

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11