Special driver’s licenses being ‘misused’

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Issue 1032, Page 3
Word count: 432
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Macao Federation of Transportation is urging the government to revise the legislation concerning the special driver’s license system as soon as possible in order to protect local professional drivers’ interests.

Representatives of the federation met with Secretary for Administration and Justice Florinda Chan at the government headquarters yesterday.

According to the federation’s chairman Tong Chak Sam, the problem of illegal drivers was very serious in the transportation industry over the recent years. He said a majority of them misused the special driver’s licenses (that give drivers the permit to drive in both Guangdong Province and Macau) to drive tourist buses and casino courtesy buses in Macau, Tong said.

These people took advantage of the 67/84/M law decree regulating the special driver’s license system which has not been revised for more than two decades, he added.

Despite the federation has been expressing its demands to the government and some corresponding measures have already been launched, Tong Chak Sam said the situation never got improved without the presence of proper regulations and supervision.

The existing 67/84/M law decree does not give any departments authority to oversee the use of licenses or to withdraw licenses, and also does not restrict the number of special driver’s licenses a company can get or give any penalties to offenders. “Therefore some companies make use of these loopholes and arrange mainland drivers to work in Macau,” Tong said.

The chairman told reporters that the government has admitted that the legislation was “outdated”, but the progress to revise the law was “extremely slow that failed to effectively protect Macau’s professional drivers’ employment and also let go of the existence of this illegal behaviour”.

During the meeting the federation strongly requested Secretary Florinda Chan to pay attention to the problem and complete the related law revision work as soon as possible.

In addition, the federation suggested the government to impose a cap on the number of special driver’s licenses each company can obtain and to cancel the licenses when the companies shut down.

If a mainland driver resigns the company should be obliged to inform the government in order to have the license terminated, Tong said.

When it is found that a special driver’s license is being used improperly, the federation said besides penalties and cancelling the license, the related company’s overall license quota has to be tightened.

After the meeting Tong Chak Sam quoted Florinda Chan as saying that the government would revise the special driver’s license system and related legislation “at an appropriate time”, but she did not mention whether or not it was the right moment now.

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