Did your cab driver just cancel on you after confirming your booking? Your cab driver can be fined for it. Cyberabad police have said that cab drivers may be slapped with a fine of up to Rs 500 for cancelling rides, as it violates provisions of the new Motor Vehicles Act.
On Wednesday, the Cyberabad traffic police tweeted that people can file a complaint with the traffic police if any cab or auto driver cancels a ride booked through a taxi aggregator app. The police cite section 178 (3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, that says refusal to ply by a contact carriage driver on hire is an offence. The police asked commuters to send them the vehicle number, date and time, location and screenshot of rejection to a WhatsApp number.
However, doing so may eat into the total amount of money the cab driver earns per day and cab driver associations have said that the police should consider the reason for cancellation before imposing the fine.
Social media users have welcomed the move, with some even asking the tax aggregator app service providers to include a feature to report the drivers on the app. Most taxi drivers are still in the dark about this new enforcement drive on cab booking cancellations.
Cab drivers pin the reason for most cancellations on the city’s traffic.
Sunil, the president of Telangana Cab Drivers Association, says, “The app will say that the driver will arrive in 10 or 15 minutes, but in reality, the driver has to drive through traffic and it could take 30 to 40 minutes to reach the customer’s location. Cancelling the ride is better in such cases so that the customer can find another ride that is closer and thus not wait for us.”
Sunil says the drivers only find out the location of the commuter after they accept the ride and drivers already have to pay a fine of Rs 50 in case they cancel.
Sunil, however, doesn’t shy away from admitting the fault of drivers when it comes to cancelling rides. “Some people prefer short rides and thus cancel the long rides. But when the police penalise the drivers, they should keep in mind that the drivers earn just Rs 700 to Rs 1,000 a day and if Rs 500 from that goes as fine, how will we pay our car EMIs or meet household expenses? The police should consider fines on a case by case basis,” he adds.