THE Philippine National Police has released the following safety tips to prevent the public from falling prey to taxi scams or worse, cabbies who act in cahoots with robbers particularly in Metro Manila.
PNP chief, Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome said the safety tips are part of the PNP’s “Be informed, plan ahead and be safe” program.
The following precautions must be observed:
1. Do not enter a taxi if there is anyone other than the driver inside. Once inside a taxi, check if the doors can be locked from the inside, otherwise you’re vulnerable when the taxi stops in traffic.
2. Ride the backseat or check the backseat to make sure that no one is hiding on the floor, between the seats.
3. Ensure that the doors can be opened from the inside and its inside door handlers are functional.
4. Request the driver that the meter be used.
5. Take a mental note of the license plate number.
6. Once inside the taxi, conspicuously text the number of the taxi to someone or at least pretend to do so. Text back your contact when you have arrived safely.7. If the driver is unwilling to comply with your requests, wait for another cab.
Watch out for “Batingting” taxis or those with flawed taxi meter.
The following are the signs of a “batingting.”
1. Tampered or missing meter seal.
2. Meter only displays fare and not the distance and waiting time (if present).
3. Taxi name, plate number and operator contact number erased at the cab insides.
4. Driver is clicking a switch hidden somewhere.
5. Driver would not usually argue/complain if you pay the usual fare since they know that they’re really equipped with a faster-than-a-speeding bullet meter.
What to do if confronted with such a situation?
1. Always take note of the taxi name, operator phone numbers, plate number and if possible, take note of the taxi driver’s name and face. Send this information to a friend or relative.
2. Ask the driver to use the meter. If they say that the meter isn’t working or offer any other excuse, don’t get in the cab. If you’re already inside, ask the driver to stop and get out of the vehicle.
3. Make sure to check the meter.
4. Some drivers tend to keep a minimum speed even when in high-speed areas. This is because the moment they get too fast, the increments will happen at an incredible rate.
5. If any time you notice that the meter is going way too fast, tell the driver to stop and get off the taxi.6. Report the taxi to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board by texting the taxi’s name and plate number to 0921-4487777 or call 426-2515. https://www.facebook.com/taxikick