Duties of drivers of Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSVs)
The National Transport Authority can make rules regarding the conduct and duties of drivers of taxis and other small public service vehicles. Small public service vehicles include taxis, hackneys and limosuines. Section 20 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 empowers the National Transport Authority to make these rules.
The following information sets out broadly the duties of drivers of these vehicles.
What are the duties of small public service vehicle drivers?
Information display: Drivers must display their SPSV driver licence number on their badge. The regulations require all drivers to also have the following information on display:
- The Driver County Identification and the five digit National Licence Number on the front and back of the roof sign of a taxi.
- National Licence Number and expiry date, vehicle registration number and number of passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry (on a tamper proof disc on the front and rear windscreen).
- The Driver ID Card on the dashboard inside the vehicle.
- Details on the national taxi fare and information on how to make a complaint and report good service (This is displayed in the front passenger area, such as on the sun visor or dashboard).
- The appropriate Passenger Information Card, which provides useful information for passengers and, in the case of taxis, fare information (This is displayed in the back of the vehicle).
It is an offence for a driver not to have the required information on display. If found guilty, the driver can be subject to a class C fine.
Since January 2013, all taxis are required to have branding fitted in order to renew the vehicle licence. The semi-permanent branding is fitted to the driver’s and the front passenger’s doors, and it includes the vehicle licence number.
Right to refuse a passenger: Drivers have the right to refuse to take a fare from you if you are unable to prove that you can pay the fare. They cannot unreasonably refuse to take you up to a distance of 30 kilometres. They may, however, refuse to take you any further.
Taking the shortest route: Under Section 23 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, drivers must take the shortest possible route when taking you to your destination.
Fares: Section 23 of the 2013 Act also makes it an offence for an SPVC driver to charge you more than the fare agreed at the start of the journey. If found guilty they can be subject to a class C fine.
Under Section 24 of the 2013 Act, a taxi driver found guilty of charging more than the maximum fare shown on the taximeter can be subject to a class B fine.
Operation of equipment: Taxi drivers must use a taximeter that has been tested and sealed by the Legal Metrology Service (LMS) to calculate the fare if the journey is within their taximeter area. Drivers must ensure that the meter is in good working order as set out in the Metrology Act 1996. Since September 2006, taxi drivers have been required to have the national fare structure programmed into their meters. It is an offence to operate a taxi without the meter being set up to charge accordingly.
Issuing of receipts: All taxis are required to issue you with a printed receipt from the taximeter upon payment of the fare. Hackneys and limousines must also issue you with a receipt (which may be handwritten).
Accessibility: SPSV drivers are obliged to facilitate passengers who use wheelchairs if they have a wheelchair accessible vehicle and licence. Wheelchair accessible vehicles have to meet the standards set out in the Authority's publication National Vehicle Standards (pdf).
Lost Property: SPSV drivers are obliged to hand in any lost property left in their vehicle to An Garda Síochána.
Compliance with road traffic legislation
Drivers of SPSVs in Ireland must comply with Road Traffic legislation as laid out in the various Road Traffic Acts. This means that they are obliged to obey the national road speed limits, wear seatbelts at all times when driving, carry their driving licence with them at all times and ensure that their have adequate and current motor tax and motor insurance.
In common with all motorists, SPSV drivers may receive penalty points and fines if found guilty of certain driving offences
Where to apply
Further information on the duties of drivers of Small Public Services Vehicles (SPSV's) is available from the following:
National Transport Authority
Tel:(01) 879 8300
Fax:(01) 879 8333