During recent audits of the State’s ATISs, the auditor was surprised at the number of times examiners have issued vehicle inspection reports with notes that three or even four tyres need to be replaced on the taxi.
One operator had submitted seven vehicles that each required three or four tyres to be replaced!
This blatant disregard for passenger and driver safety is - totally unacceptable.
This type of repair needed notice raises the question – what public passenger vehicle maintenance plan have these operators adopted? Just to refresh memories, it is a condition of accreditation to carry on a public passenger service that “operators are to provide a vehicle maintenance plan under their operator’s accreditation obligations”.
The vehicle maintenance plan needs to specify steps to ensure vehicles are roadworthy. One tyre with insufficient tread depth at an ATIS inspection would reflect on an operator’s maintenance plan – not to mention when ALL tyres have insufficient tread depth.
The details of the offending operators captured in the audit of ATISs, has been send to the Ministry of Transport with a recommendation that the operators be issued with an infringement notice. The operator who submitted the seven defective vehicles will be subjected to a Ministry of Transport audit on his taxi accreditation.
By ignoring fundamental safety matters, operators are not only placing the public and passengers at risk, they are opening themselves to a potential challenge under WorkCover legislation for not providing a safe work environment for drivers.
To remove the guess work concerning tyre tread depth, operators are urged to purchase a “tyre depth gauge” from a reputable auto-part retailer. This gauge, costing less than $10 measures the depth of the tyre tread – anything less than 1.5mm should be replaced (RTA’s Rule 104.02(a) of the Guide for Authorised Inspection Stations).
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