Woman jumped out of moving cab after arguing over fare meter
Woman jumps out of moving taxi to evade fare after attacking cabby.
She accused him of tampering with the taxi meter, hurled vulgarities at him, hit him and tried to evade the fare by jumping out of the moving taxi - giving taxi driver Mohamed Shathe shock of his life.
The incident happened early on Sunday along the Rochor Road exit of the East Coast Parkway.
After jumping out, the woman rolled on the road before standing up and hailing another taxi.
"I have come across people who have opened the door and run when the taxi stopped (to evade the fare), but never someone who jumped out of a moving taxi," said Mr Sha, 37, who has been a taxi driver for seven months.
"Does she think she is the Terminator or what?"
The ComfortDelGro driver picked up the woman and two men from a Scotts Road hotel around 4am, and dropped one man at Bayshore Road and the other at Pasir Ris.
"She was supposed to get off at Pasir Ris, but I think (she and the remaining man) got into a fight. The man paid his own fare, and she told me to head to Bukit Merah," he said.
Along the way, the woman asked if the fare would be $9.
Said Mr Sha: "I said, 'No way'. She didn't tell me she didn't have enough money, so I assumed everything was all right and continued driving."
About 15 minutes into the ride, Mr Sha said the woman seated in the back started accusing him of cheating her. She claimed he tampered with his meter to charge her a higher fare.
Mr Sha said the woman started hurling vulgarities and hit his head with her hands, causing his left ear to bleed.
He said: "I told her if she was unhappy we could head to the police station. She started hitting me. That's when I decided to drive to the nearest police station.
"I think that's when she panicked, and without warning she (opened the door and) jumped out of the taxi."
Mr Sha said he was driving at about 50kmh then, and stopped his taxi along the side of the road before calling the police.
The taxi she hailed drove away after Mr Sha told the driver she had not paid the fare for her previous ride.
The woman, who was bleeding on her elbows and back, tried to walk away, but Mr Sha followed her for about 10 minutes before the police arrived.
Police said they received a call for assistance at 5.10am on Sunday along Stamford Road
They confirmed a case of dispute had occurred and parties involved were advised accordingly.
Mr Sha said he decided not to pursue the matter as it would be "too much trouble over $18".
"What has happened, has happened. I have to continue driving my taxi, it's my rice bowl.
"It was just bad luck that I met this woman," he said.
Taxi drivers The New Paper spoke to said tampering with the meter is impossible.
Mr Thiang Hock Teh, 60, who has been driving a taxi for 22 years, said: "There is an LTA (Land Transport Authority) seal on the meter, so the only way to tamper with the meter is to break the seal.
"But you will be found out when you go for your regular servicing every month."
Taxi driver Joel Tan, 40, agreed.
He said: "We can only press 'start' and 'go', it's very strict. There is no way to tamper with the meter and if we break the seal, we will get into serious trouble."
I told her if she was unhappy we could head to the police station. She started hitting me. That's when I decided to drive to the nearest police station. I think that's when she panicked, and without warning she (opened the door and) jumped out of the taxi.
- Cabby Mohamed Sha, who said the woman hit his head with her hands, causing his left ear to bleed (above)
Other cases of fare evasion
A woman was slapped with a $12,000 fine after cheating 10 taxi drivers out of their fares over a five-month period.
The 33-year-old would try to pay with her credit card but the transactions would fail. She would then say she didn't have cash and would promise to transfer the money for the fare to the taxi driver's bank account. She pleaded guilty to 10 counts of failing to pay a total of $133 in taxi fares between October 2013 and March last year.
In March 2013, she was fined a total of $2,400 for similarly failing to pay four taxi drivers.
A 23-year-old insurance agent was given a two-week short detention order for attacking a taxi driver by punching him on the nose and back of the head in 2013.
The drunk passenger tried to run away without paying his taxi fare and then punched the driver for going after him to get the money.
A woman was fined $1,200 after repeatedly dodging taxi fares by claiming she did not have the money.
The 29-year-old could not pay the penalty and spent six days in jail.
She had managed to evade the fare for at least 34 cab journeys and pleaded guilty to two charges of fare evasion.
She was fined $600 on each count. The Land Transport Authority allowed her to settle the other 32 outstanding fares.
Under the Public Transport Council Act, a passenger found guilty of fare evasion can be fined up to $1,000. Repeat offenders can be fined $2,000, and also jailed up to six months.