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Uber petitions NLA for law amendment on ridesharing service

Uber Thailand today (July 19) petitioned the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for the amendment of the existing motor vehicle law which it said is obsolete and does not correspond with technology change and government's 4.0 strategy.

Uber Thailand's spokeswoman Amy Kunrojpanya submitted the petition to NLA first vice president Surachai Liengboonlertchai in the bid to seek justice for the business operator from the legislators.

The petition called for the NLA to amend the Motor Vehicle Act 1979, which was in force for 38 years now, to legalise Uber's ridesharing service.

In response to Uber's demand, Mr Surachai assured the Uber representative that the complaint would be raised for consideration for sake of fairness to all parties concerned, for safety, fairer and reasonable price and for easing traffic problem.

In coping with the fast global changes, doing business must not be monopolised by one business group.

Instead it should be shared, he said while advising taxi operators the need to adapt to changes for survival in the environment of technology change.

But he said Uber also has to come under Thai laws, adding that the ridesharing service is now under the process of public hearing by the NLA.

Uber stated on its website that Uber's ridesharing service is trusted around the globe because it is a safe, efficient and convenient way to get around town. Travelers from more than 74 countries around the world have taken an Uber while in Thailand.

But the Thai government wants Uber to be regulated under the Motor Vehicle Act B.E.2522 (1979), which was drafted over 38 years ago when the concept of ridesharing and smartphone technology didn't exist.

Uber said Thailand risks missing out on the full benefits that ridesharing brings to riders, drivers and cities.

It also goes against the government's Thailand's 4.0 initiative, which aims to make the country into a regional hub of technology and innovation.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)