Remember Abang driver?
Yes, the unfortunate Go-Jek driver who had to face the wrath of a woman hell-bent on avoiding ERP fees?
Yes, that’s him, Mr Kamaruzzaman Abdul Latiff, and the female passenger of the “is it because I’m Chinese” infamy.
When the dust of the shit-storm settled back in the earlier part of the year, Mr Kamaruzzaman faced the possibility of a Land Transport Authority (LTA) sanction for uploading a video taken of the incident unto social media pages.
He was summoned by LTA for an interview on 7 February for the spat which took place on 29 January.
As a collective show of support for Mr Kamaruzzaman, there was even a petition on Change.org that called for the LTA to refrain from sanctioning the driver.
The petition saw a total of 65,461 signed the petition in a show of support for the driver.
Fast forward to this day, it appears we now have a conclusion to this saga.
Issued Conditional Warning by LTA
According to Straits Times, Mr Kamaruzzaman has been issued a warning by the LTA over the incident.
The LTA had issued him a warning for unauthorised recording the interior of his vehicle, then showing it to the public.
Which is obviously a relief.
The conditional warning Mr Kamaruzzaman received would require him to maintain an incident-free record for the next 12 months.
The Official Rules
With many abusive passengers and of course passengers who evade fares, the authorities have officially allowed the use of inward-facing video cameras. Passengers who die-die don’t want to be recorded cannot choose to have them turned off: they can choose to, instead, not take the taxi or private hire car.
This law was lobbied by the National Taxi Association to tackle unruly passengers and passengers who suddenly aced their shuttle run without paying.
So, filming your passenger is okay, but what you do with the footage is a whole new story altogether: there are strict regulations on that.
Firstly, the passengers, should they request, can view the footage.
Secondly, there must be a notice in the car to inform the passengers that they’re being recorded.
And thirdly, which is the most important part of the rules, is that the footage must be used only for official investigations. Drivers are not allowed to post the videos on social media.
LTA has a page that lists down the “restrictions on access to footage”, and in a point, it specifically speaks about this:
There will be restricted access to the footage recorded by inward-facing IVRDs. Government agencies and LTA-authorised data controllers will be allowed to access the footage to support investigations and enforcement efforts e.g. cases of fare evasion by commuters, or alleged offences by the driver. The data controllers will be required to follow stringent guidelines including requirements such as putting in place proper safeguards on the storage and access to the footage and ensuring that only authorised personnel have access to the footage.
Under the Road Traffic Act, these are the penalties for private-hire car or taxis:
- A fine up to $1,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or both upon conviction. In the case of a second or subsequent offence, a fine up to $2,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both upon conviction.
- For taxi and PHC drivers – 21 demerit points, which may lead to the revocation of the driver’s vocational licence under the Chauffeured Private Hire Car and Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence Demerit Points System.
Yes, we’re talking about a jail term.
Which is why people were worried that Abang would be losing his job.
This apparent chapter-closing news comes after Go-JEK shared that a “fair outcome has been reached with the driver partner” in February.
Back then, Mr Kamaruzzaman shared that Gojek told him there was “nothing wrong” with what he did and the company “won’t do anything” to him.
Mr Kamaruzzaman declined to comment when ST approached him for comments on the conditional warning.
Well, at least he’s not going to lose his job, eh?
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