Lantau cab driver arrested for overcharging during typhoon

A taxi driver called Ho must be one of the unluckiest people in Hong Kong.

The 60-year-old Lantau taxi driver was arrested by police last night for overcharging fares during Typhoon Merbok, HK01 reported today.

Following complaints about cabs refusing fares and hiking prices during typhoons, plainclothes officers went to the Tung Chung MTR taxi stand at 5pm, just before T8 was hoisted.

A cab driven by Ho arrived at the rank and, after asking their destination, he allegedly asked for a fare well above the standard price.

Ho was arrested under section 40 of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations, which forbids a driver from asking for an inducement, with a penalty of a $10,000 fine and six months jail.

This police sting might prompt surprise among regular customers of Lantau cabs, where soliciting for higher fares is a widely-reported practice.

Among Hong Kong taxis in general, raising the price during the typhoon is also not unusual because of the limited number of cabs and the urgent demand.  The arrested driver can count himself unlucky.



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