From today, nine select locations in the center of Prague will display some 30-plus posters as part of an awareness campaign aimed at steering tourists away from dishonest taxi drivers.
“I have no illusions that this campaign will solve the problem of dishonest taxi drivers, our aim is mainly to warn tourists. That is why we have chosen slightly controversial visuals that should attract attention and also to highlight the risks,” said Mayor Adriana Krnáčová.
Krnáčová placed the symbolic first poster on Pařížská Street in the Old Town of Prague yesterday.
The notices are positioned on public lighting, in front of a places where particularly notorious groups of cabbies lie in wait for customers.
“Due to the fact that they will be in the incriminated points plus prominently displayed, I believe that they can protect a lot of people,” Krnáčová said in a news release.
The visuals differ in theme and message. One series shows the approximate fare from the city center to the airport, another lists a comparison of taxi fares in different cities around the world, and a third series of posters go for a more comic approach, reading:
“These cars are part of a museum of communism exhibition. Would you like to experience the totalitarian era? Exorbitant prices for an otherwise cheap service! Be careful.”
In the coming days, the city will also launch a new information website, which will be divided into two categories: “For Drivers,” which will be detail all the conditions that taxi drivers must meet and “For Travellers,” which will focus on customer rights as well as feature a fare calculator.
In the continued fight against dishonest taxi drivers in Prague, the mayor says she supports the approval of an amendment to Act 111 on road transport, whose preparation the city of Prague was involved in significantly.
The mayor wants the law to enforce the option to withdraw a driver’s license at the mere suspicion of overpricing, to be followed by administrative proceedings.
The amendement also aims to classify driving without a valid taxi license as a criminal offense.
“I am convinced that these are exactly the tools that really help us to deal with a group of dishonest taxi drivers who spoil not only the reputation of Prague, but the whole taxi profession,” says the mayor.
Krnáčová has previously come under fire for not doing enough to curb the unscrupulous behavior of cabbie crooks, especially following a series of documentaries on the subject by filmmaker Janek Hrubeš.
Read our interview with Hrubeš Prague Taxi Driver Takedown for more insight on the Prague’s taxi problem.