The Pattaya Taxi Drivers Cooperative yesterday expressed regret over the surrounding of a Uber taxi on the Pattaya beach road at Barihai Cape on May 3 saying it was the inappropriate behaviour of only a handful of taxi drivers.
The apology was voiced by the cooperatives’ president Anan Puekwatana after Pattaya police, transport officials, Pattaya City officials and soldiers met to look into the incident which was considered a disgraceful act that has badly tarnished the image of this world’s famous beach resort destination.
The incident went viral on the social media after a video clip was posted on Youtube showing about 20 taxi drivers blocked the car they suspected to be a Uber taxi, and surrounded the female driver who had a Chinese customer inside.
The incident paralyzed traffic on the beach road for almost half an hour. Pattaya 191 police were alerted and later managed to take both parties to the police station for talks.
It was later found out that the woman was not a Uber taxi driver, but just the driver of her foreign boss. She said she was assigned by her boss to drive his Chinese customer to rent a condominium room at South Pattaya.
While the taxi drivers claimed they thought her car is a Uber taxi and that they considered that she has violated the law for picking up passenger to Pattaya.
However both sides reached a couple promise and no charge was made against either part by the police.
Netizens called the Pattaya taxi drivers’ act in surrounding the car of a woman, and their shouts and threat barbaric and unacceptable. They called in relevant government agencies to deal with these taxi drivers they called “mafia taxis”.
But local officials considered the act of the Pattaya taxi drivers was inappropriate and was tantamount to take law into their own hands. The act has negatively affected the reputation of Pattaya.
At yesterday meeting, taxi drivers were warned not to repeat the same act as it is illegal to intercept and block other’s vehicle on the street.
They were told to let the police and land transport officials handle Uber taxi service, and not by themselves. They were also warned of tough legal action if they repeat the same offence.
Mr Anan later apologised on behalf of all taxis and promised to take care of all taxis.
He said the act was conducted by just a few taxi drivers.