Following online ads, officials threaten to arrest Uber drivers (again)

Yet again Thai authorities have threatened to arrest Uber drivers following the ride sharing app’s campaign to recruit new drivers.

The Department of Land Transport (DLT) on Monday annouced a crackdown on Uber drivers and asked police to arrest drivers on the spot with a charge of using a personal vehicle as public transportation, said DLT Duputy Director-General Nantapong Chertchu.

Nantapong added that there is a loophole that allows the San Francisco-based ride sharing app to get away with the offense as they technically do not break any laws by operating an application. However, the Uber drivers themselves will be charged and fined a maximum of THB2,000.

This measure followed Uber’s recent advertisements on social networks asking car owners in Chiang Mai and Phuket to become drivers for the service. The popular app also recently rented a promotional booth at a department store in Nakhon Prathom province. The booth was reportedly shut down by DLT.

The deputy director-general claimed the Department is trying to raise awareness about the law that Uber partners are breaking, as well as enforcing the law, reported Daily News.

Nantapong said Uber has negotiated with Ministry of Transport to offer a special service to call taxis by application, but he insisted that it could not be done and that public transport must be operated under the same law, which states that drivers must register their cars as public vehicles and obtain a “yellow plate.”

He suggested that passengers take legal taxis for their own safety. He said that Uber and other application-provided car services are not registered, so the driver’s backgrounds cannot be checked by officials. Even more, the car may not be up to road standards.

Regarding Thai taxi drivers’ notorious reputation for speeding and rejecting passengers, Nantapong said that the department is developing regulations for better service and penalties for drivers who break the law.

So what’s the cheapest transportation in Bangkok: Grab, cab or Uber? Check out this useful fare chart.




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