Following on from the introduction of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 at the beginning of April and the subsequent authorisation of additional compliance personnel, a number of general compliance checks and pre-planned operations, many with the assistance of Gardai, were undertaken during May. These have resulted in a number of successful detections which will now proceed to be prosecuted through the court process.
During May a total of 21 unlicensed operators were detected in different areas of the country. These comprised:
- 11 unlicensed operators detected in Dublin;
- 3 unlicensed operators detected in Kildare;
- 1 unlicensed operator detected in Mayo;
- 1 unlicensed operator in Roscommon;
- 1 unlicensed operator detected in Donegal;
- 1 unlicensed operator detected in Louth;
- 1 unlicensed operator detected in Wicklow;
- 1 unlicensed operator detected in Kerry; and
- 1 unlicensed operator detected in Wexford
In addition to the above, an unlicensed operator from Northern Ireland was detected operating in Ballyshannon and, due to the issues arising in this case, An Gardai Siochana were called to assist with that operator. Following the obtaining of certain details, the Gardai escorted this operator back across the border.
The compliance work undertaken in Donegal also resulted in the arrest of one driver for the offence of driving with “excess alcohol”.
In total during May, almost two thousand, four hundred small public service vehicles have been checked by compliance officers. As well as the above pending prosecutions for unlicensed operators, 170 Fixed Charge Penalties have been issued to vehicle drivers, with the majority of these penalties issued for standing illegally for hire or to drivers who were not associated to the vehicle that they were driving.