Pol Col Weerawit Wajjanapukka, chief of the Traffic Police Division's ticket information centre, said unhappy passengers could now file a complaint directly to the 1197 hotline without having to submit their complaints to the Department of Land Transport as before.
He said if a taxi refuses to take the passenger, he or she must immediately report to the nearest police station.
The complainants must inform police of the taxi's registration number and colour of the car.
If possible, he said, complainants should record the conversation on their cell phones for use as evidence.
Pol Col Weerawit warned that the recording should be done discreetly to make sure that the taxi driver does not react violently.
Complainants can call the traffic police hotline 1197 or log on to www.publicpolice.go.th to place their complaints.
With the new law to poised to take effect, netizens have compiled most common excuses used by cabbies to deny services.
1. "I've to return the cab to the garage" is by far the most common excuse that people come across. Many people have pointed out that a taxi driver who is no longer providing service on that day should turn off their "vacant" sign so that people do not waste their time and can look for other cabs.
2. "The car needs refueling".
3. The driver changes his mind mid-way and drops the passenger off, claiming that the traffic is too bad to go through. Many people pointed out that traffic congestion in the city is normal and if the driver wants to avoid traffic jams they should quit driving in the city altogether.
4. Taxis parked in front of malls and bus terminals are selective of their passengers, and frequently claim the destination is too near and they don’t make any money for the trip. These drivers are usually mafia-types and normal cabs are threatened do not to get in the queue.
5. "The trip is too far, you have to pay extra". Many cab drivers trying to make extra money force passengers to pay more than the normal meter fare. Even though they do not deny service, demanding more money is also unlawful. These demands are often made to passengers travelling at night trying to get home, or people who are in a hurry. Passengers are usually forced to oblige and pay 50 to 100 baht more for the convenience.
6. Taxis that only accept foreigners as passengers. These types of taxis are found near tourist areas. Many usually do not turn on their meteres and charge excessive fare. Then there are those who turn on their meter but drive around town before reaching the destination, often close by, to increase the fare on the meter for visitors who are not familiar with the roads and streets.
7. Some just park on the side of the road, rudely waving off passengers without any explanation. Netizens said these people are "rich enough, they do not need to woo passengers to make a living".
Pol Col Weerawit said Bangkok traffic police also have eight points of advice for motorists as the number of cars on the city's roads continues to soar, and with it the possibility of more road accidents and traffic related violence.
He advised motorists to follow these eight tips to happier motoring:
1. Flashing high beams several times at another driver could get you shot.
Flashing of lights is generally a signal asking the car in front to give way, but flashing your lights several times could lead to a fight and someone could end up hurt, or worse. A good example is the case where a hot-headed boy shot and killed an air force officer who flashed his lights asking the boy to give way.
2. To cut in front of somebody is to cut short your life.
Frustrated by traffic jams, drivers could lose their temper when another vehicle suddenly cuts in front of them. It's a common scenario, he said. The agrieved driver then reciprocates and cuts in front of the other car, which could result in an accident. It could also end up in a brawl.
3. Don’t bother a teenage motorcycle gang blocking your way, contact police as soon as you see them.
It is very common to see them in a large group during the night. Motorcycle racing is very common on the streets. Call 191 as soon as you see them. Do not yell insults at them, or you could be beaten up.
4. Making illegal turns could get you into trouble.
Motorists should activate their signal lights well before making a turn, to avoid accidents and causing traffic congestion.
5. Do not turn on your fog lights, or secondary driving lights, unless needed.
Many people believe that turning on their fog lights does not bother anybody. But they can cause a problem for the driver in the car ahead of you and should be used only when there is a lot of fog or when driving in heavy rain.
6. Xenon lights are not cool, they can get you beaten up.
Xenon lights are not illegal but they can be very annoying to other motorists, and flashes and glares from the light can hurt their eyes and disrupt their driving. Moreover, drivers annoyed by the lights could pick a fight with you.
7. Properly prepare both yourself and your car.
Both the car and the driver must be in a fit condition to travel. This includes a healthy mind and attitude on the part of the driver. Do not get easily frustrated and do not allow anger to take control. It could cause an ccident, or other trouble that you don’t want.
8. Get a grip.
Clear conscience is important when you are on the road. Drinking and driving is not recommended. Most importantly, do not violate traffic laws and be civil when sharing the road with other drivers, or else it could lead to a fight or worse, even murder.
Pol Col Weerawit said these eight steps can be applied by both novice and veteran drivers. By following these rules motorists could avoid accidents as well as avoid getting into an unwanted, possibly fatal, brawl.
“People are very hot headed these days. A little argument can turn into a fight to the death. People must learn to control their anger,” he warned.