(Photo Credit: LTA)
In an enforcement operation conducted by the Land Transport Authority earlier this week, two drivers were caught providing illegal carpooling service despite the ban of such services during the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker period.
Carpooling services, such as GrabHitch, Rydepool or any private arrangements, are non-essential services and are therefore prohibited during the Circuit Breaker period.
According to LTA, these drivers that continue to blatantly disregard the ban can be “prosecuted under the Road Traffic Act, Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation Act) for the use of an unlicensed vehicle to provide transport services and using a vehicle that is not properly insured to ferry passengers, and the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020”.
The authorities also noted down that although commercial operators like Grab or Ryde has suspended their car-pooling functions, private arrangements through messaging platforms continue to offer such services.
LTA mentions that “such irresponsible behaviour endangers the health of drivers, passengers and their families, and undermines Singapore’s ongoing efforts to suppress the spread of COVID-19”.
The authorities also mentioned that members of the public are advised to report any illegal carpooling services should they come across any, through the One Motoring portal using the e-service, “Report Vehicle-Related Offences”.
During the Circuit Breaker period, commuters that undertake essential travel are advised to use public transport, taxis and private hire car services through the respective ride-hailing applications.
In addition, passengers hailing taxis along the street should “scan the QR code found in the taxi to provide their contact details or visit https://go.gov.sg/journeyinfo”.
During this period, taxi drivers have also been instructed to issue passengers with receipts for their taxi rides. Passengers should keep these receipts for at least 14 days. These steps will facilitate contact tracing efforts, should the need arise.
Last but not least, LTA also issued an advisory which urged “both drivers and commuters to be socially responsible and comply with the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures, which have been put in place to safeguard public health and to minimise community transmission”.
LTA also deem carpooling services at this time as a “serious offence”, and promises to continue to “actively enforce against those who provide such services illegally”.
Those caught offering carpool rides during this period face a fine of up to S$10,000, a maximum of six months' jail or both.
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