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The whole Taxi industry needs more inspectors

Why are we still paying for bad drivers and body odour?

Some 742 of you took the time to complain about your Taxi driver last year which is more than double the amount than the year before, some of these number are the result of finding it easier to complain but I still imagine that there are lots of you out there who haven't bothered or don't know how to complain.

The NTA said that compliance officers checked 11,455 individual taxi drivers and their vehicles last year and some 836 fixed payment notices were issued as a result of these inspections for a variety of offences. In total the NTA investigated 1,167 complaints between January 2013 and June 2014.

Nearly half of these - 568 in total - related to driver conduct, the NTA said.

So if there's inspections and people are being fined why is it that there's still complaints coming in from the public?

There are 29,900 active licences in Ireland and 21,604 active vehicles with that many drivers and vehicles on the road and only 23 inspectors nationwide you can see the problem isn't a small one.

It's also relatively easy to get a Taxi licence as a driver, you apply through a web site, pay a fee, take a test about regulations and submit it to the Garda station/PSV Office nearest to your residence. It's assumed because you have a normal drivers licence that you're able to drive a car.

A Taxi driver isn't required to take an advanced drivers course or have any special skills when it comes to driving and yet their main job is to drive and so you would expect that some drivers are better than others. Worried passengers might find themselves in a situation where they are better drivers than the Taxi driver.

We need better regulation for Taxi companies in Ireland and with only 23 inspectors on the road there's room for improvement there too, the work load must be huge for the inspectors trying to keep track of all those cars.

Section 64 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 sets out the categories of complaint that can be dealt with by the Authority. These include complaints relating to:

  1. The condition, roadworthiness and cleanliness of the vehicle;
  2. The conduct, behaviour and identification of an SPSV  driver;
  3. Overcharging and other matters relating to fares;
  4. The hiring and booking of the SPSV; and Identification and general appearance of the SPSV.

Road traffic offences are dealt with by the Garda Síochána.

Online Editors