Designated driver services must disclose their rates to customers before providing services, according to the Mandatory and Prohibitory Provisions of Standardized Contract for Designated Driving Services (代客駕車服務定型化契約應記載及不得記載事項) published on Monday.
The regulations, which took effect this month, were needed due to increased demand for designated driver services following the implementation of a “zero tolerance” policy against drunk driving and because of an increase in customer disputes, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said.
The standardized contract contains four categories of provisions.
First, designated driver service operators must disclose the standard by which they would be charged, the ministry said, adding that drivers must check if customers agree to the terms of the service in advance to avoid disputes.
Second, designated drivers must have a professional driver’s license and no criminal record, it said.
People who want to use a designated driver service must be capable of telling the driver their destination, the ministry said, adding that those who are not sober enough to do that must be accompanied by someone who is.
Third, vehicles that customers hand over to designated drivers must have liability insurance and not be stolen, the ministry said.
Service operators’ contracts should include information about the liability insurance they have purchased and itemize what it covers so that they can be held accountable if a driver is blamed for a traffic accident, it added.
Fourth, designated drivers must take responsibility for traffic offenses that occur while operating a customer’s vehicle, unless it was caused by the customer, the ministry said, adding that drivers can reject any illegal requests from customers.
In other news, the Department of Highways and Railway yesterday said that people with epilepsy whose symptoms are mild or can be controlled with medication would soon be allowed to have a driver’s license.
Although the proposal must first undergo a 60-day public review, it could be implemented in September, it added.
The nation has about 100,000 to 200,000 people with epilepsy, with about 70 percent capable of controlling their condition through medication, surgery or other treatments, the department said, citing statistics from the Taiwan Epilepsy Society.
Nations such as Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and the US allow people with mild or controllable epilepsy symptoms to drive, the department said, adding that the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that banning people with epilepsy from having a driver’s license is discriminatory.
The ministry’s proposed amendment to the Road Traffic Security Rules (道路交通安全規則) would allow those with epilepsy who have been free of seizures for more than two years and obtained a medical certificate to take the driver’s license examination for motorcycles and cars.
Licenses for those with epilepsy would be valid for two years, while each license renewal would need an updated medical certificate, the department said.
Drivers who have a seizure should voluntarily surrender their license, it said, adding that the license can be revoked if the driver refuses, while anyone driving with a revoked license would face a fine of up to NT$12,000.
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