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Dublin: -1 °C Thursday 27 November, 2014

Taxi drivers to face geography tests and tax monitoring under new clampdown

Operation Taximeter will also see stamp 2 Visa holders come under scrutiny.

General Secretary of the National Irish Taxi Association (NITA) Jerry Brennan (left) with Junior Minister Alan Kelly.
General Secretary of the National Irish Taxi Association (NITA) Jerry Brennan (left) with Junior Minister Alan Kelly.
Image: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

TAXI DRIVERS WITH a history of poor local knowledge will have to undergo a geography test under new regulations announced today.

If drivers receive three “substantiated” complaints about their knowledge of local roads, they will be required to take a “mandatory area knowledge test”.

Launched this month, Operation Taximeter will see drivers in both rural and urban areas kept on their toes with the appointment of 15 new enforcement officers, bringing the total number of 32.

This also includes a clampdown on stamp 2 Visa holders.

This covers non-EU nationals who come to Ireland under education programmes, and are allowed to work set number of hours but can not be self-employed.

The new regulations also include:

  • New standard specification and age limits for wheelchair accessible vehicles;
  • Maximum fee charge for payment by credit/debit cards;
  • Restrictions on advertising on vehicles.

These restrictions on advertising have previously been criticised by drivers, as it can be source of revenue.

Speaking to Newstalk’s Lunchtime, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Alan Kelly said there will be a particular emphasis on rural towns.

He added that there was a “laissez-faire” attitude towards the issuance of taxi licenses before he took offices.

“You can’t legally take them off drivers,” Minister Kelly said.

Kelly said that the National Transport Authority will now have access to a “live feed” of driver’s tax records to improve systems of monitoring.

Read: Ireland is the first country to see near nationwide coverage for Hailo taxis >

More: 300 taxi drivers protest in Dublin city over ads, parking and too many taxis >

Found: Stolen taxi returned to father of three >

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