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Get me outa here! Taxis with emergency panic buttons coming to Pattaya!

Tourists used to being ripped off by unscrupulous Pattaya taxi drivers will soon have a get out clause – a panic button in the cab to call the authorities in case of fleecing or other misdemeanors.

A pilot program of the “OK” fleet of new taxis has proved to be a success and now more cars at the resort will get the “OK” designation leading to better, safer and fairer service, said Chonburi Department of Land Transport.

Just 18 cars so far have the new measures – an emergency button that links to HQ, more information about the driver, and all are GPS enabled. The cars can be called on an application.

The fee is set – 40 baht for the first two kilometers plus a charge if hailed using the application.

Chonburi DLT representative Nit Jiamrujikun yesterday met with Pattaya taxi co-operatives boss Tawat Pheuakbunnark in Bang Lamung to thrash out details related to the new scheme that will see many more “OK” cars on the roads come next month.

It will apply to vehicles that were registered from 2017.

Nit said he hoped that the scheme would lower problems of taxi drivers asking exorbitant fares and ripping off tourists and the general public and lead to greater safety.

There would also be a “VIP” designation for some taxis in the “OK” class, said Sophon Cable TV in their Facebook report.

These vehicles would be “premium”, they said, with comfier seats. What premium meant was not explained.

The news was met with some derision by Thai posters online who commented that it was more of the same action in the past like “sticking a band-aid on a festering sore”.

Peeboy Deejung summed it up: “Why not just make them turn on the meter?”

Thai VisaSophon Cable

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