Taxi checks treble due to new app

The number of taxi inspections has trebled thanks to a new app which gives inspectors real-time information about the vehicle and its driver.

The National Transport Authority has said its officers carried out more than 90,000 inspections of 18,000 taxis last year, resulting in almost 1,100 fixed penalty notices.

That compared to less than 30,000 inspections and less than 700 penalties a year earlier.

The app gives details of the licences of the driver and the vehicle.

“The highest volume of fixed payment notices issued, approximately 51%, related to drivers failing to notify details of the vehicle being operated,” the NTA said.

“This offence arises in connection with the legal requirement for a licensed driver to register the licensed vehicle being driven with the central database system managed by the authority.”

Furthermore, of the 208 cases that ended up in court last year, a quarter (49) related to drivers who did not have a taxi licence and a further 32 were because the vehicle wasn’t licenced.

The NTA’s latest statistical bulletin also reveals that €2.1 million in grants were given out last year to drivers to make 335 vehicles wheelchair-accessible.

That meant that by the end of the year, 1,254 vehicles or 6% of the total fleet were equipped to take wheelchair users.

On a less positive note, the age profile of the taxi fleet as of December 31 showed that of the almost 21,000 vehicles, 7,544 or 36% were nine years old or more. Almost 300 of them were 15 or older.

Anne Graham, NTA chief executive, said: “If a passenger feels that something could have gone better in their journey, we urge them to let us know about it, to let us tackle it.”


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