All taxi companies in Hanoi will be evaluated during a three-week inspection from on April 10 and those found to have violated regulations will have their operational licence revoked, said deputy director of the city's Transport Department Nguyen Hoang Linh on April 5.

Previous inspections had been small in scale, with only 10-12 of the city's more than 110 taxi companies participating, he said. This time, all companies will be subject to an evaluation of their operational and management mechanisms, vehicles and drivers.

To boost the effectiveness of the inspection, the department planned to seek co-operation from residents by asking them to take photos of any violations they observed, such as illegal parking, running red lights, exceeding speed limits, or cheating passengers, he said.

The violators will be subject to the appropriate administrative punishment, and serious cases could result in revocation of operational licences, he said.

So far, only six taxi companies, including Mua Xuan, Le Gia, Phu Gia, Hong Hung, 14 and BG, have been suspended from operations since last year for their lack of management mechanisms.

Nguyen Hoang Giap, chief inspector of the department said the number of suspensions fails to reflect the real situation. Punishment measures are not strict enough, so the violations continue, he said.

The most common violations include illegal parking, illegal turns and cheating passengers, he said. Many taxi companies fail to list their prices or register the exact number of vehicles they have in operation.

Trinh Viet Long, a driver for Van An Taxi Company, said passengers often ask drivers to stop in any place they want, regardless of legality. If the drivers refuse to stop, they will be blamed for cheating passengers by taking longer journeys than necessary.

Taxis can only fully obey the law when passengers change their expectations, he said.

Linh said the department is also encouraging taxi companies to boost education and management measures for their drivers so that they can voluntarily obey the traffic law and respect their passengers.-VNA