Monday 18 February 2019

Taxi complaints soar: Man 'should not be driving a shopping trolley, never mind a taxi'

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Gordon Deegan

A taxi driver should not have been allowed to "drive a shopping trolley let alone be a taxi driver", was the verdict of an irate customer last year as complaints over taxis jumped 14.5pc to 1,312 last year.

The customer in the "shopping trolley" grievance told the National Transport Authority (NTA) the car "was absolutely filthy - he was aggressive to other road users".

In response, the NTA issued the driver with a fixed-penalty notice (FPN) - one of 1,874 FPNs issued last year, resulting in cumulative penalties of €108,660 on drivers.

The 2018 total was a 29pc rise on the €84,070 in penalties imposed in 2017 on drivers arising from 1,512 FPNs.

Penalties ranged from €40 to €250 and 231 drivers were prosecuted last year and in 2017 over non-payment.

The vast majority of FPNs came as a result of the NTA's 24 compliance officers doing vehicle checks, while 148 came from customer complaints.

Driver behaviour complaints from customers totalled 529, a 19pc increase on 2017, while those over alleged overcharging totalled 470 - up 24pc.

Vehicle condition grievances were down 30pc.

A customer complained in October: "No meter running, condition of car was a disgrace. Driver appearance makes me wonder why there is no standardised uniform."

The driver was issued with an FPN for failure to operate the meter and cautioned in regards to the taxi's condition.

In July, a customer complained: "Back seat of the car was wet... he did not care." The NTA gave advice to the driver.

Irish Independent

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