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Sex offenders 'could be taxi drivers' claim

TAXI industry bosses have warned that sex offenders and convicted criminals could still be driving cabs as dozens of operators were busted by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

A total of 65 unlicensed taxi drivers have been identified by the authority in the past three months, according to a report.

alarming

Between April and July, the authority received 161 consumer complaints against taxi drivers.

A total of 106 of these were from passengers who complained about fares.

Industry experts said the figures would be alarming for anyone who uses a taxi, particularly women travelling on their own.

National Private Hire and Taxi Association representative Christy Humphries said the high rate of complaints should be a cause for concern. He said that all 65 of the drivers who were unlicensed should be "named and shamed" by the authority.

"If you don't have a licence, you don't have insurance," he said. "If the licensed driver isn't driving, then who is?

"It appears as if convicted criminals and sex offenders could be free to drive taxis, given the alarming level of non-compliance."

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 the condition, roadworthiness and cleanliness of the vehicle as well as the conduct, behaviour and identification of the driver.

investigates

The Authority also investigates claims relating to overcharging and other matters concerning fares as well as the hiring and booking of a taxi.

If consumers are not happy with the identification and general appearance of a vehicle, they may also register a complaint.

hnews@herald.ie


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