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Rogue taxi drivers beware: Gardaí are clamping down

An Garda Síochána will be targeting taxis and hackneys as part of a national campaign this weekend.

Alan Kelly and taxi driver Gerry Macken.
Alan Kelly and taxi driver Gerry Macken.
Image: Con O'Donoghue

GARDAÍ WILL BE clamping down on rogue taxi drivers as part of a national campaign this weekend.

Members of an Garda Síochána will be targeting taxis and hackneys to ensure they are in compliance will all Small Public Service Vehicles regulations.

Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, head of the Garda Traffic Corps, said that as of the end of April there were 30,111 licensed drivers and 21,672 licensed vehicles in Ireland.

“The vast number of these drivers and vehicles are compliant with all SPSV regulations, however there are some that are not,” Twomey noted.

“This weekend we will target unlicensed vehicles or drivers, as well as those that are not fit for purpose or are in breach of other SPSV regulations.

Not only do illegal taxis or hackneys affect the livelihood of legitimate SPSV members, but they could potentially pose a threat to any passengers that are carried. These drivers are unvetted and do not have the required insurance to carry passengers for reward.

The Taxi Regulation Act 2013 introduced a number of licensing offences and other SPSV-related offences.

Twomey said these regulations “will make the industry safer not only for drivers, but also for members of the public”

We ask that every member of the public ensures that they only use a legitimate taxi or hackney every time.

People can check that their taxi driver is fully registered by using the Taxi Driver Check App.

taxi Operation Taxi

Rules and regulations

All SSPVs, regardless of their licence category, must:

  • Have an active vehicle licence 
  • Have a tamper-proof licence discs displayed in the front and rear windows of the vehicle. (some vintage vehicles are exempt)
  • Be fully roadworthy
  • Carry the required safety equipment
  • Not carry more passengers than indicated on the tamper-proof licence discs

All taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis must have:

  • A taximeter calibrated and verified with the current National Maximum Taxi Fare and connected to a printer
  • A regulation roof sign
  • Approved taxi branding applied to the front doors
  • No other signage on the front doors
  • No advertisements and/or signs exceeding 1,600 square centimetres on any other door
  • No sign that can be seen from outside the vehicle providing the name, details or logo of any industry representative group

Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly said that the taxi market relies on “consumer confidence in a safe, reliable and high quality SPSV service”.

“I believe that the new emphasis by gardaí on the taxi sector will ensure that consumers will have that confidence in the sector and the taxi drivers that do their jobs professionally will be rewarded by the market.

“Enforcement is the biggest issue taxi drivers always raise and I welcome this move by An Garda Síochána,” Kelly commented.

Related: New app lets you verify your taxi driver

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

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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