Equal treatment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 1995, 12:00am

I WRITE to rebut your reader's suggestion that 'Police (are) unfairly penalising taxi drivers' (South China Morning Post, February 10).

Taxi drivers are treated equally with all other errant motorists. The area in question where the taxi driver is alleged to have been ticketed is an urban clearway and it is illegal for any vehicle to pick up or set down passengers or engage in loading or unloading.

On the question of illegal parking in the lay-by on Ice House Street, police regularly issue parking tickets against all categories of illegally parked vehicles.

Your correspondent also asked about the pooling of passengers into taxis in areas such as Taikoo Shing during rush-hour periods. This practice is an offence if the driver himself solicits individual passengers into a pool. Furthermore, a taxi may only stand for hire at a prescribed taxi stand.

However, should a group of potential passengers form themselves into a pool and agree to share the legitimate fare as shown on the taxi-meter between themselves, the driver of the taxi would not be committing an offence provided he picked them up at a prescribed taxi stand or on an unrestricted stretch of road.

ERIC LOCKEYEAR for Commissioner of Police