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The Straits Times
May 16, 2023
Two car drivers and a motorcyclist were booked and had their vehicles impounded during enforcement operations conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) earlier in May.
LTA said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the operations targeted motorists offering illegal carpooling and motorcycle-pooling services.
Pictures accompanying the post showed two cars and a motorcycle being towed away.
LTA said: “For commuters’ own safety, we strongly encourage those who wish to book point-to-point transport services, including commercial carpooling services, to do so via licensed business platforms.”
Passengers are able to match with drivers on chat groups on Telegram, also known as Telehitch groups. These chat groups started appearing around 2019, and are illegal and unregulated.
A check by The Straits Times found that the most popular carpooling chat group, SG Hitch, currently has more than 190,000 members.
In February, Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor said in Parliament that illegal carpooling trips among strangers that are matched through messaging platforms such as Telegram do not have the same safeguards in place that licensed carpooling operators do.
Such safeguards include verification of driving licences and a kept record of details of booked trips, which can be used to aid investigations in the event of a dispute, she said.
Members of the public should book their journeys only with licensed carpooling operators, Dr Khor added.
According to LTA, six drivers were charged in court for the offence of illegal carpooling from 2020 to 2023. All drivers were fined $1,200.
The six drivers were also found guilty of failing to hold the requisite third-party motor insurance and fined $600. They were also disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Those convicted of providing illegal carpooling services without a vocational licence, or using an unlicensed vehicle, may be jailed for up to six months, fined up to $3,000, or both.
Members of the public who encounter individuals providing illegal carpooling services can file a report with LTA feedback@LTA.gov.sg. They can also visit https://onemotoring.lta.gov.sg/ to file a report to LTA via the e-service “Report Vehicle-Related Offences”.
Earlier this month, we carried out enforcement operations against drivers and motorcyclists offering illegal car-pooling...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Monday, May 15, 2023