TAXI passengers may enjoy free tunnel rides under a proposal to establish special stands for taxis wanting to cross the harbour. Taxi Associations Federation spokesman Ng Kwok-hung said many drivers were reluctant to take passengers across the harbour for fear that they could not find customers going back the other way. Mr Ng said that with special stands, Kowloon and Hong Kong drivers would be sure of business going back to the other side of the harbour. ''If the special taxi stand is set up, passengers will not have to pay the tunnel charge, and at the same time, drivers will be guaranteed passengers,'' Mr Ng said. Drivers now charge passengers $20 for a cross-harbour trip. The association, which claims to represent 100,000 drivers, submitted the proposal to the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) yesterday. ''At present, some drivers refuse to take passengers across the harbour because they worry about being unable to find others returning to either Hong Kong Island or Kowloon peninsula,'' he said. Mr Ng said the proposal would help reduce complaints against drivers who refuse to take passengers across the harbour. However, TAC member Tenny Lam said: ''In principle, it is a good idea, but there will be some technical problems when it is implemented. ''We need to look into it and discuss it with other members.'' One driver, who welcomed the idea, said: ''I would like to have a return trip with passengers after going from Hong Kong to Kowloon, even though I wouldn't receive a tunnel fee. ''It's hard doing business on Kowloon peninsula because I'm not really familiar with the area and new traffic arrangements there,'' he said. The association also proposed setting up an emergency service scheme when the No 8 typhoon signal was hoisted. It proposed setting up 10 taxi radio centres to co-ordinate services to those who wanted a cab urgently during typhoons. He said this would help to prevent taxi drivers asking for a surcharge. The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers denied claims that drivers were forced to raise prices during typhoons because they lacked insurance to cover injury to themselves during storms. A federation spokesman said: ''Irrespective of the weather, motor insurance policies do not provide compensation for injuries suffered by taxi drivers. ''Claims by taxi drivers that they have to charge their customers more during a typhoon because they have no insurance to cover possible injury are completely untrue. ''Under a motor policy they have no cover for personal injury whether it's a fine day or a terrible storm. ''Third party motor insurance policies cover damage to the taxi or other vehicles as well as injuries to passengers or drivers of another vehicle but they provide no coverage for the taxi driver irrespective of the weather. ''However, if the taxi driver is employed, he or she is eligible for compensation under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance. ''And a driver may also receive coverage under personal accident insurance which must be purchased in addition to their motor policy,'' the spokesman said.