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Taxi drivers and customers must be protected with strong legislation – Ellis

17 May, 2011 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Speaking today following the recent RTÉ report on the failure of Taxi regulation to safe-guard customers Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Dessie Ellis said

“Most Taxi drivers are hard working honest people who deserve our support and good legislation which ensures they are not tarred by criminals and rogue elements”.

He went on;

“Last night’s Primetime was a damning example of the failures to properly legislate for driver vetting, deal with double jobbing issues and guarantee that all taxi drivers are safe and legitimate.

“We saw that convicted rapists had been awarded licences, people who had been involved in hit and runs were still on the road and some drivers were on the road up to 90 hours a week. This is not just unacceptable in the interests of public safety but as well for the hard working, law abiding majority of taxi drivers who are trying very hard in this economic climate to make ends meet.

“This will unfortunately damage greatly the reputation of Taxi drivers but what we really need is solutions to these serious problems. We need these solutions urgently to restore public confidence.

“The Regulator needs to meet with Taxi drivers and their representatives and end the elitist approach which has been taken in the past where policy was foisted on Taxi drivers without proper consideration for their need and the realities of the industry following deregulation.

“We need a new vetting system along the lines of the Private Security Industry.

“We also need a new licensing system. Making licences non-transferable and supplying a register of licence holders and information on them to Gardaí, revenue commissioners and the Dept of Social Welfare.”

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