New proposals will force 'rogue' taxi drivers off road
CRIMINALS with convictions for serious crimes and other "rogue" taxi drivers will be forced out of business under proposed legislation, Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly said yesterday.
He hopes the Government will pass laws this summer preventing anyone convicted of serious crimes -- including murder, sexual assault, rape, fraud, drug trafficking and assault -- from obtaining a taxi licence.
The proposed amendments to the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 will also allow for the revocation of existing licences for drivers deemed to be disqualified from holding a taxi licence. They include drivers convicted of serious driving offences and so-called "rogue" drivers who are not licensed to drive a taxi or who do not comply with regulations.
"The broad aim of this report is to increase consumer confidence in the sector and eliminate the rogue elements in the sector," he said at the launch of the Department of Transport's "Taxi Regulation Review" report in Dublin yesterday.
Noting that up to a quarter of the taxis on the streets now don't warrant demand, he predicted the new standards would lead to "a significant exit" of drivers unwilling or unable to abide by the new regulations and standards.