No means for young kids in private-hire cars
Grab or Uber drivers will not allow you to ride if you are travelling with a young child.
Private-hire cars such as Grab and Uber have been a popular form of transport for locals since it hit Singapore, with Uber drivers reportedly earning an average of $26.08 an hour.
However, many were outraged when news broke that private-hire cars are not allowed to carry children standing below 1.35m.
What’s going on?
To the dismay of many Grab and Uber users, the Road Traffic Act makes it illegal for private-hire cars to carry passengers under 1.35m without a booster seat or a child restraint.
Taxis, which are considered public service vehicles, are exempted from this rule. Grab and Uber cars are hired under a contract.
For allowing passengers with young children to ride in private-hire cars, drivers can face a $120 composition fine and three demerit points. This forces some drivers to refuse customers.
Although Grab has a ‘GrabFamily’ option, equipped with booster seats for passengers with young children for an additional cost of $2, many Singaporean private-car users seem to disagree with the law.
29-year-old administrative assistant, Mastura Ali Mohamed, felt the law is unnecessary.
The mother of one said: “Why should hired vehicles be required to provide child seats when it’s okay for taxis to drive kids without one? My 4-year-old is at the backseat with me, he’s not alone and he’s safe. If I am the one driving the car without anyone else, then that’s a different story.”
Many netizens do not think safety is the concern, especially when taxis are not required to provide booster seats themselves.
Josie Ng, who has a 2-year-old niece, thought the law is unfair.
The 21-year-old undergraduate said: “What’s the difference between an Uber or a Taxi? Both of them are cars. I can bring a child and have a pleasant journey in a taxi, I won’t suddenly be incapable in a private car.”
Some, however, understand the need for booster seats as it concerns a child’s safety.
Polytechnic student Louise Acosta felt that every car with young passengers should have a booster seat.
The 20-year-old said: “I hope they extend this law to taxis and every other vehicle on the road as well. There have been crazy incidences on the road recently, like people driving against traffic. Anything can happen. We should do everything to make children’s safety our top priority.”
6-year-old Gweneth Tan felt the law is reasonable and should be respected by private-hire car users.
The retail store manager said: “It’s there for a reason. If you’re with a child, simple. Take a taxi. You can book taxis on Grab or Uber apps too. At least you won’t be kicked out of a car by a driver. I’m sure they would rather reject passengers than risk losing their license and paying a fine.”
1. Is the law restricting private-hire cars from picking up passengers with young children reasonable? Why?