Tuesday 06 November 2018
“I am acutely aware of the dangers posed by rickshaws on our streets” said Minister Ross when he brought a Draft General Scheme to Cabinet today to amend the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.
The legislation will introduce new detention powers which will ensure effective enforcement of a ban on motorised rickshaws carrying passengers for reward, since these are the faster vehicles which create the greater risks. The Bill will give powers to the National Transport Authority to introduce a licensing regime for non-motorised rickshaws only. The provisions will largely mirror existing licensing and enforcement requirements for taxis including: vehicle checking and registration; driver vetting and registration; requirements regarding insurance; and fare regulation.
Minister Ross stated “The Government has today approved my proposals to amend the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. These new measures will ensure that rickshaw drivers and vehicles are vetted and registered and I am confident that this will significantly improve safety for passengers and for all road users. The new approach will also enhance customer experience and help improve the ambiance in our city centres, bringing further benefits for tourism and local businesses.”
A key component of the new framework will be to ensure that a ban on motorised rickshaws carrying passengers is effectively enforced with the introduction of comprehensive new detention powers. These powers will permit an authorised officer to remove a vehicle for further examination.
Notes for Editors
Why amend the Taxi Regulation Act 2013?
A survey conducted by the National Transport Agency in 2017 identified a number of public safety concerns related to rickshaws:
- 95% wanted rickshaw operators to have a specific licence.
- 95% wanted rickshaw operators to have appropriate liability insurance.
- 86% wanted rickshaw drivers to be Garda vetted.
- 95% wanted the rickshaw vehicle to complete a roadworthiness inspection.
- 84% wanted the rickshaw to be required to have safety features.
This General Scheme will address these concerns by providing for a number of licensing and enforcement provisions addressing broad themes including: vehicle checking and registration; driver vetting and registration; requirements regarding insurance; and fare regulation
The provisions in the General Scheme will provide for the National Transport Authority to:
- Set and check safety standards for vehicles
- Require drivers and vehicles to be licensed
- Require drivers to carry public liability insurance
- Require local authorities to identify areas for standing etc.
- Provide for a range of penalties for non-compliance with the licensing rules
Since enforcement difficulties have been identified in the context of the rickshaw sector, the General Scheme will provide stronger detention powers for authorised officers. This will help ensure compliance including enforcing a ban on motorised rickshaws from carrying passengers for reward as well as ensuring that all drivers of non-motorised rickshaws, as well as their vehicles, are appropriately licensed.