worried passengers will be able to verify details of taxi drivers before they get into the car – thanks to a free, new app.
The government-backed Driver Check app (pictured) allows passengers to check the licence details of both the vehicle and the driver on their mobile phones. They will also see an ID photo.
The passenger is then able to forward these details to a friend for added security. The aim is to reassure taxi customers that they are travelling safely, and that there is a record of their trip.
Passengers should refuse to travel with any drivers not signed up to the app.
It is compulsory for all taxi drivers to participate in the National Transport Authority initiative and any who refuse face a fine of €40.
Launching the app yesterday, Public Transport minister Alan Kelly said: "We are using technology to give consumers more confidence in the taxi sector and make the public feel safer when travelling in a taxi.
"For drivers, it will promote greater professionalism and accountability. The data is already public record but is now being made accessible to the public in an easy way," he added.
To use the app, customers launch it on their phone, and then input one of the following:
• Ordinary vehicle registration number.
• Vehicle licence number – displayed on roof-sign and on door signs.
• Driver licence number, displayed on the ID card on the dashboard of the vehicle.
• Scan the QR code on the vehicle, which is located on a disc on both the front and rear windscreens.
On first use, consumers will be asked to register their own contact details to enable sending a quick message to a friend from a cab, and to assist in following up any subsequent reports.
Some 70pc of taxi vehicles have registered with the database. Consumers can press a 'report' button option when 'no details available' comes up on the app. The app is free from Apple's App Store and the Android's Google Play Store.