Complaints and fines rise against taxi drivers
Complaints against taxi drivers have risen 30pc year-on-year as the National Transport Authority ramps-up enforcement action.
The NTA said almost 1,400 taxi drivers were issued with on-the-spot fines following roadside checks in 2014, up from almost 840 the previous year.
The most common offence is failing to log on to an industry website which obliges drivers to input their licence number, and identity of the vehicle being used to ply for trade. Some 742 on-the-spot fines of €40 were issued for this offence.
It was followed by 262 fines of €40 for standing for hire at a location other than a taxi rank, followed by 111 €60 fines for not meeting vehicle standards.
The increase in the number of fines comes as complaints made against drivers increased from 742 in 2013 to 952.
The sharpest increase related to the ‘conduct, behaviour and identification’ of drivers.
The NTA’s Taxi Statistics for Ireland document also said that just 22pc of 1,227 candidates seeking a taxi licence passed an entry test. It also shows a sharp drop in the number of vehicle licences since the peak of 2008, when 27,429 were active. This has since dropped to 21,547, a fall of more than 5,800 or 21pc.
The NTA said it had placed an “increased focus” on education, deterrence and enforcement during 2014. It appointed an extra 15 officers to undertake compliance activities such as roadside vehicle and driver audits and consumer complaint probes. This resulted in a 56pc increase in formal checks.