Prague – Czechs have been complaining for months that they have had to pay a huge bill for their taxi licences, with the cost of their licences in many cases more than the value of the vehicle.
On Tuesday, Czech lawmakers approved a bill that aims to reduce the costs of the licenses by 75% by 2020.
The bill, which aims to help curb taxi driving without having to resort to fines or jail time, has attracted the support of a number of European countries including the UK, the US, Australia and the Netherlands.
According to the Czech Republic’s Taxi Drivers Association, the average price of a license is around 6,000 Czech kuna ($6,965).
But many people are still reluctant to take the licence, because it’s a new business, says the association’s director Jaroslav Jankovicek.
Jankovicesk says the new law will help curb the rise in licensing costs.
“In our opinion, this bill is the first step in achieving this objective.
We hope the government will follow this course of action,” he told the AFP news agency.
The association’s latest survey shows that a quarter of taxi drivers do not have their licences renewed because of the cost, and they say they will take legal action to try to stop the changes.
According in the last survey in December, the Czech government had set a target of reducing licensing costs by 80% by 2019.
The Czech government says it aims to spend 2.5% of the national budget on the licence renewal, and says it is also seeking to eliminate driving without a licence.
In 2015, the government scrapped a requirement that people aged over 65 had a license.