NSW powers for commissioner to crackdown on taxi drivers breaking the law
The NSW Government today passed new laws, which gives the Point to Point Transport Commissioner new powers to crack down on taxi drivers failing to use the meter and refusing fares at taxi ranks.
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said these new powers address the increase in complaints from passengers in relation to taxi drivers attempting to negotiate fares with passengers rather than turning on the taxi meter while providing rank and hail services.
“The additional powers, under the newly amended point to point transport legislation, were necessary to enable the Commissioner’s Authorised Officers to undertake covert, plain clothes operations to target taxis drivers who were not abiding by the law,” Mr Elliott said.
“The Commissioner, the independent regulator for taxis, hire vehicles and rideshare vehicles in NSW, will be in a better position to enforce the legislation and fine those who are found to be deliberately flouting the rules and inconveniencing passengers.
“These new powers will enable the Point to Point Transport Commissioner to start undertaking covert operations in the lead up to the Christmas holiday season.”
The Point to Point Transport Commissioner Anthony Wing said he had called a meeting with Sydney's largest taxi service providers and the NSW Taxi Council next week to discuss how they were dealing with these matters.
“I want to make sure taxi companies are dealing with their drivers who choose not to use the meter or refuse fares,” Mr Wing said.
“These powers will complement the visible presence of my compliance officers who will be at a number of major events in Sydney and throughout NSW to help deter drivers from this behaviour.”
Drivers must use the taxi meter during a rank and hail trip, and under no circumstance can a driver negotiate or demand a fare that is different to the metered fare (with the exception to tolls where applicable) or refuse a fare. A fine of $300 applies for failure to use the meter.