Temporary Change to Driver Licence Tenure Requirements
The NSW Taxi Council welcomes the news received from the Point to Point Transport Commissioner, that, as of Wednesday 12 October 2022, there will be a temporary change to Driver licence tenure requirements under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017 (the Regulation) to support an increase in Driver availability.
It’s pleasing to see the focus around addressing the issue of Driver supply, as we have been leading the discussions around this important issue across our Industry. We will continue to work in this space as we know how critical Drivers are to the success of our industry.
The temporary exemption will allow people who have held an unrestricted Australian Driver licence for a period of 12 months in the previous 4 years to provide passenger services.
This is a change from the current rule that a person must have held an unrestricted Australian licence for 12 months within the last 2 years. As the pandemic began more than 2 years ago, the point to point transport industry has identified that there are drivers who stopped driving during the pandemic who are no longer eligible to re-commence driving. Following consultation with industry and considering safety advice provided by Transport for NSW's Centre for Road Safety, the Commissioner has issued a conditional exemption to the current driver eligibility requirements. From Wednesday 12 October, drivers must have held an unrestricted Australian driver licence for at least 12 months in the preceding 4 years (instead of the current 2 years). It is hoped that this will help those who stopped driving in NSW during COVID-19 to re-enter the industry, and help alleviate the difficulties in recruiting eligible drivers.
What do industry need to do in order to access this?
Once the change goes live (Wednesday 12 October), driver tenure details will be updated automatically in the DVD (driver vehicle dashboard) so drivers who meet the new requirements will be automatically updated.
You are reminded that the DVD will only provide details of NSW driver licence history, for drivers who have held a driver licence in another state or territory you should check their licence tenure eligibility manually.
Will the Driver Tenure Changes have any Impact on Safety?
After considering advice from Transport for NSW's Centre for Road Safety, the Commissioner is of the opinion that safety of services will be maintained. In addition, a driver's performance and behaviour is already monitored by their service provider under the current regulatory framework and combined with the other eligibility criteria will ensure only suitable drivers provide passenger transport services. Service providers are expected to continually conduct driver eligibility checks and monitor driver behaviour. This includes checking for disqualifying offences (e.g., suspensions, criminal checks, including in other jurisdictions) through the DVD.
How long will the exemption be in place?
The temporary change (conditional exemption) to driver licence tenure requirements under the Point to the Regulation will be in place from 12 October 2022 for an 18 month period expiring 12 April 2024. If you require additional information, we encourage you to contact the Point to Point Industry Contact Centre on 131 727.
Source - Point to Point Transport Commissioner