I HAVE been using taxis in Hong Kong for 33 years and think I am in a position to make a few constructive suggestions to resolve the taxi problem. Ignoring the licensing system, which created the chaos we endure, there are three main problem areas: Refusing a hire/touting for a higher fare or a specific destination. Cheating by overcharging or taking a roundabout route. Ignorance of the whereabouts of an address (genuine or feigned). There are simple and inexpensive solutions. If a rental driver is scheduled to hand over to another driver at 5 pm in Chai Wan, he cannot afford to take a fare in the 30 minutes preceding the handover that will leave him in Tsuen Wan or even Shau Kei Wan. He will have to pay extra to the owner and''compensation'' to the other driver, amounting to several times the maximum profit he could have made in that period. The solution is simple. There should be legislated or regulated handover times, say 4 pm and 5 pm, with all taxis having an ''odd'' number as the final digit in the registration number designated for the 4 pm handover; and all taxis with an even number designated for the 5 pm handover. For 30 minutes before those times the appropriate taxis should be permitted to display a destination board and thus pick up only passengers en route to the destinations. Drivers choosing to hand over at any other times may do so, but without the ''destination board'' privilege. The greatest aid to cheating is the ''cents'' columns on the meters. Fares should be set so charges amount to dollars only. Those columns could show it is Hong Kong dollars being charged. The next greatest aid is the surcharge for bags. Like many people, I object to having to take a bag inside the cab (either because the driver refuses to open the boot or it is cluttered and filthy) and then be charged extra. Perhaps the definition shouldbe changed to ''each bag after the first bag''. Drivers regularly take passengers they deem unfamiliar with a route the longest way to clock a higher fare. Some even declare their intention of doing so on the grounds it will be much faster. The taxi may well travel at a greater speed but usually, I suggest, the chosen route does not get the passenger there quicker, but simply at a greater cost. Other fare-enhancing tricks include allowing the taxi to creep past the designated stopping place until the clock registers another charge. Perhaps the linear units of travel could be extended to reduce this tactic; and although this would have the effect of increasing the charge for all journeys, most of us get caught. It would remove a major source of irritation and confrontation. The typhoon rip-off is well documented. Whenever a typhoon signal is raised there is chaos on the roads and taxi drivers contribute by demanding massive surcharges. Some drivers claim it is because they are not insured during typhoons. If so, surely theyshould not be on the road. But drivers operating during typhoons deserve some monetary recognition for their service. I suggest that after Signal 3 is hoisted there should be a 20 per cent surcharge and after Signal 8 a 50 per cent surcharge. Even a 10 per cent surcharge between midnight and 6 am would not seem unreasonable (but not in addition to a radio call charge). Drivers, given a destination they do not favour, often claim they do not speak English or do not know where it is. If the foreigner then gives the destination in Chinese, with details of the route, their demeanour makes it clear they had been lying. They even play the same trick on locals they perceive to be of the non-aggressive, avoid-a-fuss-at-all-costs, type. Again, there is a simple solution: they should be required to carry a usable, bilingual A-Z type street directory. I am tired of hearing there is no point in legislating against something when it will be ''almost impossible to police'' because of manpower constraints. Everything to do with taxis seems to fall into this category. A simple complaint report card should be prepared by Government and, to make it readily available to passengers, taxis must be compelled to carry a supply. The pre-printed card should provide for vehicle registration number, time and place, nature of offence (tick boxes) and the complainant's name, ID and telephone contact. They should be addressed and postage paid. After, say, five complaints, the owner should be required to identify the driver(s) who should then receive formal notification that prosecution will follow the next complaint. I also see no reason why refusing a hire, or touting for a higher fare or favoured destination, could not be made a non-moving traffic violation policed by traffic wardens. When a driver is taken to court (even the owner, if drivers earn a higher than acceptable share of complaints), and found guilty he should face a minimum fine equal to a month's earnings and/or disqualification for one month. Any disqualification shouldapply to vehicle as well as the driver. This might induce owners to show more responsibility. Second offences should carry twice the penalty, a third offence triple the penalty, and so on. As part of the ''new package'', I would support an increase in charges to $11 on flag fall and $1 for every subsequent 200 metres (or better still $2 for every subsequent 400 metres), with $5 per radio call, animal aboard or second bag (carried in a clean boot). I would also willingly contribute to a fund set up to administer a ''Taxi Driver of the Year'' award (cash, please). This would be the kind of thing that chambers of commerce, big business and the Tourist Authority could become involved in. I believe these suggestions would produce a significant reduction in complaints and public dissatisfaction with the taxi service. If my suggestions are impractical, perhaps the Transport Advisory Committee, Transport Branch, Traffic Police and taxi owners would kindly explain why and tell us their proposals for an effective solution to an intolerable situation.