Taxi reform in Kurdistan continues with smoking ban, new radio laws

“There will be a severe penalty enforced against those who violate these laws.”
author_image Kurdistan 24

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – As part of ongoing reform in the Kurdistan Region, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) introduced a new bill on Monday that prevents taxi and bus drivers, as well as passengers, from smoking.

According to a statement by the KRG’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication, two new laws came into effect on Monday.

The first is a smoking ban in all taxis and buses for both drivers and customers. The second is related to the radio inside the vehicle. According to the new law, all radios or stereos must be turned off unless operated with the passenger’s consent.

“There will be a severe penalty enforced against those who violate these laws,” Ano Abdoka, the Kurdistan Region’s Minister for Transportation and Communication, told Kurdistan 24.

Kurdistan 24 received a copy of a statement by the KRG’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication, which outlines the new laws. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Kurdistan 24 received a copy of a statement by the KRG’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication, which outlines the new laws. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

The measure follows a new policy that made it mandatory for all taxi and bus drivers in the Kurdistan Region to register for and obtain security authorization before they can operate their vehicles.

On Dec. 1, the KRG launched the start of a biometric system to collect detailed and accurate data about license applicants for taxis or buses, which includes a criminal background check.

The Department of Information Technology at the KRG’s Ministry of Interior developed the biometric registration system.

Taxi and bus drivers must now display a “Driver Identification Card” inside their vehicles.

Editing by John J. Catherine