The NSW Taxi Industry has today launched a new campaign highlighting the risks of illegal taxi services, including ridesharing.
Illegal taxi services expose the public to increased danger from a range of threats including unauthorised drivers, no safety systems such as cameras and alarms, unauthorised vehicles and no ongoing driver and car compliance checks.
CEO of the NSW Taxi Council, Mr Roy Wakelin-King said the NSW Government has, over a number of years, introduced important laws specifically to protect the public.
“Allowing illegal taxi services to operate unregulated puts the public at significant risk,” he said.
Mr Wakelin-King said that some of these laws have been implemented as a consequence of hard won experience including, tragically, where there have been serious incidents affecting life safety.
“We cannot afford to go back in time where the public and drivers are exposed to substandard operating systems that remove basic safety provisions.”
Regulated taxis have robust safety systems that protect both passengers and drivers that, unlike a smart phone, cannot be turned off.
- Security cameras that withstand significant shocks such as accidents and fire
- Tracking systems that are fixed to the vehicle – not to your mobile phone
- Alarm systems connect to a 24/7 control room that provides for quick response
- Strict licence and ID requirements for drivers
- Proper insurance for both passengers and drivers
“These safeguards are required by law to be checked daily and are subject to regular independent testing.
"Furthermore, there are random roadside vehicle checks by the authorities. Vehicles and drivers who fail to comply are pulled off the road.
“In the last 12 months, there have been more than 2,000 taxis checked in roadside operations which ensure the public is kept safe,” he said.
“There are no equivalent measures for illegal taxi services.”
Mr Wakelin-King said that this campaign is critical in ensuring that there is a wider understanding of what’s at stake in the debate about illegal taxi services.
The NSW Taxi Council is therefore calling on the State Government to protect the public and ensure the provision of safe and reliable taxi services in NSW.