MOTORCYCLE taxi drivers in Phnom Penh may soon have something more in common to wear than the ubiquitous baseball cap. City officials are in talks now with a private company to begin manufacturing uniforms that will set the moto driver apart from other motorists, Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Chreang Sophan said Thursday, declining, however, to name the company.
“We want to give safety to the tourists and make the city look good,” Chreang Sophan said, in explanation of the motivation for creating the uniform.
“There have been bad people pretending to be moto taxi drivers, so we need uniforms for the safety of tourists.”
He said he did not yet know when the uniforms would be finalised or how much they would cost.
But Vorn Pao, president of the Independent Democratic Informal Economy Association, a group that represents more than 3,000 motorcycle, automobile and tuk-tuk taxi drivers in four provinces, expressed concern over a uniform he says many drivers may be unable to afford to buy.
He said uniforms make it easier for customers to distinguish between moto taxi drivers and regular drivers, but that police already sell uniforms to moto drivers in Siem Reap province for around US$10, and that this is too expensive. “I want Phnom Penh to sell it at a lower price, around $6,” he said.
Siem Reap provincial police Chief Sort Nady said that more than 7,000 moto taxi drivers had bought uniforms since they were introduced in 2002, and that they only cost US$6.
He said that the uniforms had identification numbers on them, and that no moto or tuk-tuk driver had committed crimes against passengers since the uniforms were introduced.