In the first eight months of this year, the number of complaints about overcharging taxis and refusing to board exceeded 8,2, an increase of 700% over 2019. In order to crack down on white-plate vehicles involving public service vehicle irregularities and illegal passenger remuneration, the Police launched a two-week enforcement operation codenamed "Jushi " and "Cocoon" since 18 September, and so far arrested 9 men and 22 woman on suspicion of overcharging vehicle fares, refusing to board and failing to properly display a taxi driver's license, illegally driving a car for rental or passenger remuneration purposes, driving without third-party risk insurance, and soliciting others to take a vehicle carrying passengers by way of taxi.
In order to improve the service quality of public service vehicles to transport citizens and tourists and maintain smooth traffic, the Police launched a two-week "Horse Beginning" and "Cocoon-breaking" enforcement operation from September 27 in order to improve the service quality of public service vehicles and tourists and maintain smooth traffic.
According to Superintendent (Traffic Management) of Traffic Headquarters, Mr Nip Kai-peng pointed out that in the first eight months of 2023, the number of complaints about overcharging taxis and refusing to board exceeded 8,2, an increase of 700% from about 2019,2 in 300. Apart from this, the Police also detected white-plate car activities at tourist spots such as airports, The Peak and Lantau Island, and the Police reiterated the lack of protection of illegal white-plate vehicles for passengers and other road users, and pointed out that some taxi trades complained to the Police that white-plate vehicles affected their livelihoods.
3. Taxi driver arrested for excessive collection of car fares Some people received 200 yuan for 800 yuan in car fare
In view of this, since 9 September, the Police have dispatched officers disguised as passengers at different locations in Hong Kong, arrested three male drivers at Disneyland, Lan Kwai Fong and the airport, and issued 22 summonses, including overcharging of fares, refusal to board, failure to properly display the driver's licence, etc. Police also set up 3 roadblocks at different locations across Hong Kong, intercepted 17 vehicles, including taxis, and proactively approached taxi passengers to investigate whether drivers had committed any violations. The police have taken high-profile law enforcement actions in the hope of increasing deterrence and vigilance against lawbreakers.
Among them, Traffic Kowloon West conducted enforcement operations with Yau Tsim District and arrested a taxi driver in Operation Snake Release on 9 September on suspicion of overcharging his vehicle. Chief Inspector Ho Kwan-hin of Traffic West Region Traffic Division pointed out that the original fare of the police officer disguised as a passenger from Tsim Sha Tsui District to Disneyland on the same day was only $23, but the taxi driver charged an additional surcharge according to the meter, and finally charged a fare of $200, which was four times the required fare. The taxi is being detained and the police will check the meter for interference. The police stressed that the operation is still continuing. In addition, the Police also distributed taxi fee enquiry cards to tourists at different hotels and attractions in Tsim Sha Tsui District, allowing them to learn about taxi charges through QR codes.
Chief Inspector of Traffic and Control Wing of Traffic New Territories North Mr So Chi-wai said that New Territories North Region had set up roadblocks near seven immigration control points to actively investigate whether taxis had violated the rules.
The police put a snake pretending to be a rental car, detained the driver of the white-plated car, and detained the vehicle involved in the case
In the case of white-label vehicles, the Police arrested a total of 6 men and 1 woman at white-plate car activity locations such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Wan Chai and the Airport through an undercover operation involving snakes, suspected of illegally driving a car for rental or passenger remuneration purposes, driving without third-party risk insurance and soliciting others to take a vehicle carrying passengers by way of taxi.
Chief Inspector Lau Chun-ho of Traffic New Territories South (NTS) Enforcement and Control Branch described the details of the arrest of three of them, saying that Traffic New Territories South also disguised passengers during the enforcement operation, rented three private cars to different ports, and the three drivers charged the police officers between $3 and $3 respectively. The vehicle involved also did not have a rental vehicle permit issued by the Transport Department and is being detained.
In addition, in order to protect the safety of passengers, the Police issued 177 illegal driving fixed penalty notices to public service vehicles for the construction and maintenance of public service vehicles and matters affecting driving safety, and issued 5 illegal driving fixed penalty notices to public service vehicles, tow away 5 vehicles suspected of violating road vehicle maintenance regulations, and tow them to the Automobile Detention Centre for further examination. During the operation, the Police seized a total of <> public service vehicles, all of which were taxis, suspected of contravening the construction and maintenance regulations.
Police also cracked down on illegal parking acts that hindered pick-up and drop-off at tour buses. During the operation, the Police issued more than 6,000 fixed penalty tickets for illegal parking and tow away 9 vehicles suspected of obstructing traffic. In addition, the Police conducted educational and publicity activities in various districts, distributing over 800 souvenirs and 1,600 leaflets with a view to enhancing public awareness of related crimes through education and enhancing the vigilance of the public and visitors to Hong Kong.