Philippin lawmakers have filed House Resolution #1771 to prevent crooked taxicab drivers from activating child-proof locks to trap victims in their vehicles.
Representative Cesar Sarmiento said: “Public order and safety strongly demand that a holistic strategy–not a case-to-case nor a piecemeal approach–be done if we are to put an end to the taxi-related crimes and violations that have haunted our people.”
Sarmiento added that taxi drivers activate the child-lock mechanism on their units, to prevent rear seat passengers from escaping their taxis.
Sarmiento also noted that in 2008 under Memorandum Circular No. #2008-035 – that taxis were to remove all power door locks and window systems, but did not request the child-lock systems to be disabled.
“The taxi-related crimes and the existence of serious security lapses such as the available child-lock system and the lack of proper driver IDs, are on top of the countless complaints involving discourteous and reckless taxi drivers, defective or tampered meters, drivers who contract passengers or refuse to convey them, and poor maintenance of their taxi units, just to name a few,” Sarmiento added.
Besides imposing the mandatory disabling of the cab’s child-lock system, HR 1771 also calls to:
1- consolidate its regulations, programs and activities with other government agencies
2- respond timely and immediately resolve the complaints filed by commuters
3- inventory and conduct random inspections of taxi units
4- enforce and monitor the compliance of taxi operators and drivers on the rules and regulations designed to protect taxi passengers
5- regularly coordinate with various government agencies like the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Land Transportation Office, the Philippine National Police, and the Highway Patrol Group, “which may contribute to the prevention of taxi-related crimes.”