Taxi Uncle Forced To Pay For Negligent Passenger’s Mistake, Transcab Refuses To Help!

A reader wrote in to us about a negligent passenger who open taxi door even after the taxi driver warned him. A BMW came by at a relatively high speed and caused an accident which includes a broken side mirror and a badly dented door.

The passenger left his contact details, but went MIA when they tried to contact him. End up, the taxi driver is faulted for negligence even though he stopped his car properly and told the passenger to watch out!

Transcab also didn’t offer any help and even asked the taxi driver to pay insurance excess. We must bring justice for the taxi drivers, this is their hard earned money!

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Hi All Singapore Stuff,

I would like to share with you an incident which occurred recently and unfortunately, happened to my dad who is very much affected by it. I felt that it is only right to feature this and inform the public to prevent more of such cases from happening and affect drivers who are not at fault.

My dad has been a taxi driver for more than 18 years and this is the first time he encountered such an issue. On 27 Oct 21 on his first trip of the day, he fetched a passenger from AMK to 303 Alexandra Road.

Upon reaching, he informed the passenger to be careful before opening the door. However, the passenger did not exercise his due diligence to check and proceeded to open his car door to alight. This in turn caused a collision with another BMW vehicle.

His left side door was so badly dented that he had to call for tow truck, while the BMW side window was shattered, and the side mirror was damaged (I am also having a benefit of doubt that the lady driver of the BMW was travelling at a relatively high speed within a building compound).

After the lady driver saw her damage, she said she will need to file a report against my dad’s vehicle as the passenger who is a non-motorist has no motor insurance. The passenger was cooperative initially, but after that he refused our calls and texts, and went MIA.

End up my dad is liable for both of their negligence and was asked to pay for the damages in terms of insurance excess. How is this fair to him when he did nothing wrong? He has completely stopped the car to allow his passenger to alight.

There are no laws protecting taxi drivers from negligent passengers!

What is worse is that my dad was asked to pay for the insurance excess from Transcab when it was not his fault. They just deducted it directly from his account even though we have tried to explain to Transcab on several occasions. (Which is very puzzling because the contractual agreement between Transcab and my dad stated that only if it is the driver’s fault or if the third party cannot be identified then they have to pay for the excess, but we got the guy’s contact details and even have photo/video proof!)

We have also written to the Ministry of Transport (MOT), LTA, AMKTC MP, Mr S. Iswaran and Ms Amy Khor (Ministers of MOT) and even AXA who is the insurance company of Transcab but our efforts are in vain, all they say is that they empathize but they cannot do anything. Basically there is no laws or protocols to protect drivers when it is the passengers who are being irresponsible!

Because of this incident, my dad underwent nervous breakdown and sleepless nights, and is unfit to drive temporarily as per doctor’s advice. Hence, he has to return his vehicle and has no income now, and worst, he was made to pay for the insurance excess.

The passenger went MIA

With regards to the passenger, he is just too irresponsible. When it happened, he knew he was at fault that he did not exercise his due diligence to check before opening the door, and he kept apologizing to my dad. He gave us his contacts, and told us to call him or text him if he did not pick up.

Since then, we tried to contact him several times, but he “blue tick” our WhatsApp messages and ignored our calls. I have saved all the text messages of him ignoring my WhatsApp.

I googled for his details online and found his sister on FB, who herself is a financial advisor and should jolly well know about insurances. I tried contacting her but got a scolding and she hung off my call. How rude! She said she is not in talking terms with her brother, but funny thing is she knows about the incident??? 

In fact, I also managed to find out his workplace, he is a “Branded Content Director” from a luxury media group dealing with digital platform and print magazines, and I tried contacting his company to look for him, but they said it is considered personal matter and they can only help to pass messages, but still no results.

How can someone with such a high position at work get away with having no ethics?! He apparently took the taxi for work purposes, but the company told me if i get to social media I cannot indicate their name.

LTA must do something to help taxi drivers!

I hope that my dad’s encounter/story can serve as a precaution to warn all other taxi drivers/private hirers out there who are struggling to earn income for the family to be careful of such cases. How can they prepare themselves if such cases happen again and if the company is unable to help? Worse there is no laws or regulations to protect drivers!

LTA must do something on passengers for such cases instead of pushing everything to drivers.

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