Dear A.S.S. Editor

The authorities have announced that already 27 drivers have been caught for flouting the new regulations governing the private hire car industry. On July 1, laws requiring all private-hire drivers, such as those driving for the Uber and Grab apps, to obtain a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) kicked in. Drivers have to attend and pass a 10-hour course.

The LTA confirmed that four drivers were nabbed for operating without the required vocational licence or the concession letter allowing them to pick up fares while they await their licence or vocational course. Another 23 individuals were found obscuring or altering the decals that identify them as private-hire cars or were caught driving without one.

The LTA have given the private hire drivers a grace period of up to one year to pass and obtain the PDVL, provided they sent in their applications by June 30. As of July 31, LTA received 50,600 PDVL applications. Among them, 4,900 applications were made after the June 30 deadline, although LTA did not say whether these applications will be afforded hte one year grace period.

About 42,000 chauffeur-driven private-hire cars have also been affixed with tamper-evident decals – a requirement under the new regulations. For operating a private-hire car without a decal or vocational licence or for making use of taxi stands, first-time offenders can be fined up to $1,000, jailed for up to three months or both. Repeat offenders may face a fine of up to $2,000, or a jail term of up to six months or both.

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