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Monday, April 15, 2013

Expats operating private taxis face action

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Date: Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 4:39 PM
Subject: [Hyderabad-Rocks] "Expats operating private taxis face action-SAUDI ARABIA"

Expats operating private taxis face action

Jeddah: Arab News

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Last Update 10 April 2013 3:00 am

Despite the three-month grace period granted to expats to correct their iqamas and work status, the Passport Department will continue to pursue violators of regulations, especially those expatriates who run "private taxis."

Use of a private car for paid passenger service is a punishable offense, said Col. Mansour Al-Nasser, media spokesman for the Passport Department in Tabuk.

"A private driver transporting others for a wage in his sponsor's or his own car is a clear violation of traffic regulations. The Passport Department is responsible for checking unauthorized activities such as vehicles that do not adhere to regulations governing taxis," he said. Al-Nasser blamed sponsors for the increase in private taxis, saying that they did not cooperate with government departments. Such sponsors are in fact covering up for their drivers even if those drivers are working for their own profit.

"Six private drivers were arrested over the past two weeks in the province. They confessed that they were working for their own profit and they were deported," the official said. Some women passengers attributed the increase in the number of private taxis to the lack of a public transport system in most cities.

"Private drivers mostly serve women and families," said a woman who depended on expatriate private taxis.

"In the absence of any effective public transport system and since my husband is busy with his business, I have no other choice but to call some expatriate drivers to take me to and from my workplace or for shopping," said Fatima Al-Johani.
Stressing the need to regulate activities of such drivers, Sarah Al-Shehri, who has her own driver and car, said, "One day when my driver was late, I had to call a private taxi after shopping. Then I noticed that the car was going in a different direction and the driver was staring at me in the mirror. I was scared and immediately called my father and told him that.

The man soon returned to the right road because he heard me asking my father to call the police," she said.

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