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LETTERS: Gahmen Must Scrap Discriminatory Law Affecting Grab and Uber Drivers’ Livelihoods

CHUA LAI SENG:  I am a Grab driver now after being retrenched from my last job. The government has asked us to accept economic “restructuring”, but it has refused to restructure the framework of government regulations to help us succeed.

The children’s car seat issue is one example of the sluggishness of the law from a First World government. It is illegal for Grab and Uber cars to ferry children without a child seat or child restraint under the Road Traffic Act because we are seen as private cars.

But, it is OK for taxis to do it, even though they drive sedan cars too just like us. The reason according to the LTA is this:

“LTA said taxis are exempt as it would be “quite unreasonable” for taxi drivers to have to turn away street-hail fares with children under 1.35m tall and babies.”

The same saloon car, but 2 different rules. That is called discrimination. The same saloon car, but it is safe for some, but unsafe for others?

Does the government know how many customers Grab and Uber drivers like me have to turn down because of this rule? Only those who are very garang will dare to accept because if caught, the fine is S$120.

Now with the popularity of Grab and Uber, I hope the government will give this issue more thought and amend the law to suit our new transport climate.

I am not asking for Grab and Uber drivers to be able to do roadside pick-ups like taxis because taxis are public services. But what I am asking for is fairness and the removal of discriminatory laws. We drivers are just trying to earn an honest living.

Thanks Lai Seng for this letter.
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