Q11. A passenger reserved a taxi via telephone or app booking at 10.00 AM. When he arrived at the meeting place at 10.05 AM, he found that the taxi driver had moved the meter to the recording position before he got in the taxi. Could the passenger refuse to pay or request the taxi driver to start counting fares again?
The driver of a taxi as soon as the taxi has been hired shall move the taximeter indicator to the recording position and as soon as the hiring has terminated shall return the taximeter indicator to the non-recording position: see Regulation 49(2) of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations (Cap. 374D).
The hiring of the taxi shall commence from the time at which the journey begins or the time at which the taxi is first made immediately available to the hirer at the time and place appointed by the hirer, whichever first occurs: see Regulation 49(3) of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations (Cap. 374D).
Thus, the taxi driver cannot move the taximeter indicator to the recording position before the journey begins. The time of hiring begins only at 10.05 AM when the journeys begins but not at the time when a taxi is booked via telephone or booking app at 10.00 AM. Therefore, the passenger can refuse to pay or request the taxi driver to start counting fares again.