Public Consultation on Mandatory SPSV Driver Safety Equipment 2015
The National Transport Authority (Authority) is a State body set up under statute in 2009 responsible for the regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) sector, i.e. taxis, wheelchair accessible taxis, hackneys, wheelchair accessible hackneys, local area hackneys and limousines, together with their drivers, owners and associated services. At 30 June 2015, a total of 21,209 SPSVs were licenced to the Irish fleet; 17,485 were taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis with c.60% of those in the Greater Dublin Area.
At 30 June 2015, there were 28,578 SPSV drivers licensed to provide public transport services across the country. This industry has an almost unique set of characteristics in that a driver’s daily activity involves 24 hour lone working, door to door services on unscheduled routes, the handling of money and valuables and, as has been increasingly reported upon in recent years, both threats to personal security and violence at work. It is important to emphasise that the current SPSV regulatory framework does not prohibit any proportionate, lawful safety measures and many drivers have implemented such measures already. However, the Authority acknowledges the danger which can be experienced by both rural and urban SPSV service providers and considers it appropriate to facilitate the start of a structured industry and public debate through this Consultation.
Taxi Regulation Review Report
In January 2012, the Report of the Taxi Regulation Review Group was published on foot a wide ranging review carried out in line with a Government decision of June 2011. The Review Group, which was convened and chaired by the then Minister for Public and Commuter Transport, Alan Kelly T.D., included dispatch operators, drivers, vehicle owners and consumers as well as Government Departments and regulatory and enforcement agencies. The aim of the review was to allow consumers to have confidence in the SPSV sector while also ensuring that legitimate and competent operators and drivers could be rewarded fairly by operating under a regulatory framework that is adequately enforced. This “Mandatory Driver Safety Equipment Consultation” derives from the actions recommended within the Report.
Action 37 of the Report of the Taxi Regulation Review Group states:
“In recognition of driver safety issues, a consultation process will be carried out with the industry in 2012, on the possibilities and merits of introducing a requirement for the mandatory provision of certain driver safety equipment in taxis. Potential options for consultation include:
- In-vehicle security cameras;
- A partition separating the driver front seat area from the remainder of the vehicle;
- A locational alert system; or
- Other new technology based options.”
Within the context of this action and this document, the term “taxi” above is taken to mean all categories of SPSV.
In parallel, Action 45 states:
“This action proposes the planned migration to the use of smart (electronic) technologies in individual SPSVs to address the current challenges in monitoring and regulating a fleet of over 20,000 vehicles; and also to better exploit the potential to integrate the SPSV fleet into the wider public transport system.
Developments in computing and communications technology, together with the increasing sophistication of in-car technology, creates opportunities to move the SPSV industry to a different level, both in terms of interfacing with customers and in regard to efficient monitoring of regulatory compliance.
Possible capabilities that could be considered include enhanced information availability for customers, improved operational data collection, remote taximeter fare update capability, remote disabling of roof sign operation, driver security monitoring features and similar functionality.
It is likely that the integration of these features into taxi technology will take place over a period of time, on an incremental basis, and it is important that regulatory proposals in this area are considered in the context of likely technological developments.”
Consultation on Mandatory Safety Equipment for SPSVs
This consultation document invites your submission in relation to the introduction of mandatory safety equipment for SPSVs and their drivers. Mandatory safety equipment design could range from a simple full view interior mirror through to real time, live locational and identification aides. In particular your views are sought on the following:
1. Do you consider that safety equipment in SPSVs should be made mandatory?
2. If you do consider that safety equipment in SPSVs should be made mandatory, please state any suggestions or proposals that you wish to have considered.
Submissions, clearly marked “Mandatory Driver Safety Equipment Consultation 2015”, must be received by the Authority by 5pm, Friday 25 September 2015 either by email or post to the address details below:
Post: Driver Safety, National Transport Authority, Dún Scéine, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Lane, Dublin 2.
Más mian leat páirt a glacadh sa leagan Gaeilge den Chomhairliúchán, déan cliceáil: An Comhairliúchán um Threalamh Sábháilteachta Éigeantach do Thiománaithe BFSP 2015
This consultation is now closed.