News of: Thursday, December 29 2005,

Undercover policemen in Amsterdam taxis

Amsterdam is going to deploy undercover agents in taxis.

The measure is intended against a group of a few dozen notorious drivers, who break the rules. The rules in question mainly have to do with dangerous driving, speeding, ignoring traffic lights, not wearing safety belts, using non-handsfree cell phones and driving on the dedicated street tram lanes without a permit.

It is also possible that the undercover agents are going to check for refusing short rides. Refusing short rides has become an important problem in the past few years. Taxi drivers, particularly those at the Central Station, often refuse rides that are within the centre, which causes a lot of problems for tourists arriving at Central Station. Many have to walk to their final destination. The city of Amsterdam is looking for ways to prevent this problem.

Starting January 1 2006, taxi drivers must have a diploma. At the end of November only 1,415 taxi of the 4,000 taxi drivers who started after 2001 had passed the exams.
It is expected that about 1,000 of them will end their business.