Q8. Can three adults and two children get on a 4-seater taxi? In those cases, would they be covered by insurance?
Can three adults and two children get on a 4-seater taxi?
- a child under the age of 3 years shall not be counted;
- 3 children aged 3 years or above but each not exceeding 1.3 m in height shall be counted as 2 persons.
Thus, in any event, two children would be counted as two persons unless one or more of them are under the age of 3 years. The total number of passengers being carried in this circumstance would become 5, which exceeds the maximum number of 4 in a 4-seater taxi.
Any person who without reasonable excuse contravenes Regulation 53(3) of Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations (Cap. 374G) commits an offence and is liable on first conviction to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for 3 months and on second or subsequent conviction to a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months: see Regulation 61(1) of Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations (Cap. 374G).
Where the motor vehicle insurance for third party risk only covers 4 persons on a 4-seater taxi, the fifth person would not be insured generally under the insurance policy. The taxi driver may be liable for failing to cause the motor vehicles against ALL third parties’ risks and thus may contravene Sections 4(1) and 2(a) of the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance (Cap. 272), and would be liable to a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.
In those cases, would they be covered by insurance?
It depends on whether contractual warranties under the insurance policy have been breached. If they are breached, not all injured parties may be insured.
If it is stipulated in the insurance policy that it would only insure for the maximum number of the taxi, i.e. 4 persons, the fifth person may not be insured.
On the other hand, if it is stipulated under the insurance policy that the driver should not carry excessive number of passengers, it is inconceivable that any breach of that contractual warranties would enable the injured parties to obtain full compensation.
If it is stipulated under the insurance policy that the driver should not cause the taxi to be driven in an unsafe manner, driving an overloaded taxi may amount to driving in an unsafe manner and would affect the claim for compensation.
Thus, the injured parties may only be covered under the third party motor vehicle insurance to a limited extent.