FOLLOWING ON FROM reports that the recent clampdown on rogue taxi drivers didn’t lead to any arrests, the Department of Transport has defended publicising the initiative beforehand.
Today The Herald reported that the clampdown, held on the weekend of 27-29 June, led to no arrests or detection of serious offences.
A spokesperson from An Garda Síochána told TheJournal.ie that “no figures are available yet” in relation to the campaign.
On the weekend in question gardaí targeted taxis and hackneys to ensure they were in compliance will all Small Public Service Vehicles regulations.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) said that about 2,700 taxi drivers stayed off the road on the weekend in question after the clampdown was publicised by Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly.
Following this, the head of the Irish Taxi Drivers Federation, John Usher, said he was “very disappointed” with the unsuccessful clampdown.
“If you’re trying to catch a mouse you don’t let it know.”
The Department of Transport defended making the public aware of the clampdown ahead of time, saying it is standard practice.
The enforcement efforts of An Garda Síochána are a matter for them to comment on. However, publicising such operations is not unusual and works as a deterrent and a preventative measure against bad behaviour.
“The publicity in this case also served to promote the Taxi Driver Check App which allows consumers to ensure that they are engaging a legitimate operator.”
The spokesperson added that the NTA is undertaking an “on-going enforcement programme” both independently and in conjunction with An Garda Síochána.
“The combined effect of all of these initiatives is that rogue operators will find it very difficult to continue in business,” he added.