Duties of passengers of small public service vehicles
Passengers are required to obey certain rules when travelling in taxis, hackney cabs and limousines. The duty of passengers to adhere to certain rules of behaviour are set out under Section 29 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.
The following is a broad overview of your duties as a passenger.
What are my responsibilities as a small public service vehicle passenger?
To co-operate with the driver’s instructions: If you are travelling in a small public service vehicle (SPSV), you are required under Section 29 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 to co-operate with any reasonable request by the driver. This includes wearing a seatbelt, locking the door, behaving in a civilised manner and not asking the driver to take more passengers than they are legally allowed to take.
A driver can ask you not to enter the vehicle or to leave the vehicle if they have reason for concern. An example of this would be if the driver feels threatened by you or suspects you to be intoxicated. In this case you must obey the driver’s instructions.
Not to damage the vehicle: As a passenger, you must not cause damage to or soil the vehicle in any way. This includes not eating, drinking or smoking while in the vehicle. A soiling charge is payable by a passenger who soils or damages the vehicle to the extent that it has to be taken out of service, or will have to be cleaned or repaired.
Not to put the driver at risk: You must not leave any sharp objects in the vehicle that may put the driver in danger. These include syringes or sharp objects. As a passenger of a SPSV you must not behave in any way that may put the driver at risk or compromise their safety.
To obey the rules regarding the carriage of animals: The driver of an SPSV is not required to carry an animal unless you have a disability and require the use of a guide dog or other assistance dog. If you do, the driver is obliged under Regulation 39 of the Taxi Regulation (Small Public Service Vehicle) Regulations 2015 to take the dog onboard unless the driver is unable, for medical reasons, to carry a dog in their vehicle.
To pay the appropriate fare: If you are travelling in a taxi, you must pay the maximum fare as shown on the taximeter at the end of the journey (if the journey is within the taximeter area). If you are travelling outside the taximeter area in a taxi, or travelling in a hackney or limousine, you must agree to pay the fare before the journey begins, including any booking fee. You must also be able to prove to the driver that you can afford to pay the fare or give a deposit before the journey begins.
You can find further information on a passenger's rights and responsibilities on the National Transport Authority's transportforireland.ie website.