National Standards For Taxi Drivers

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6th November 2009, 01:22pm - Views: 638
Media Release
6 November 2009

It SHOULD be a good idea but it's not!

The NSW Taxi Council today said the introduction of national standards for taxi drivers SHOULD be a good idea but the standards proposed are ten years behind those currently in place in NSW.

"NSW is the leading Australian State in terms of training and testing for taxi drivers many of the initiatives proposed under these national standards are things we introduced in the 1990s and have since further improved," said Mr Howard Harrison, CEO NSW Taxi Council.

"I am concerned that instead of taking NSW further forward, it will drag us back to the 1990s. These standards have found the lowest common denominator rather than raising the bar, and that is disappointing."

Mr Harrison said key examples included:

The proposal to introduce English Language testing this has been in place in NSW since the mid-1990s, and the level proposed less than we currently require.

The proposal to introduce locality testing this has also been in place in NSW since the 1990s.

The proposal to introduce training for drivers of wheelchair accessible training the national standards would cut the current NSW course by more than two-thirds.

NSW was the first to introduce curriculum based training and it has since been used as the basis for training cabbies in London, Singapore, the USA and other States in Australia including Victoria.

"Our further concern is that the Sydney environment is particularly challenging for taxi drivers, and as such we have a number of unique security measures in place to assist drivers such as in-vehicle safety initiatives, secure ranks, the ID voucher scheme for passengers to name a few. Our concern is that under a national system there would be no training on these initiatives, which would place new drivers on the road unprepared to protect their own safety," said Mr Harrison.

"It should be a good idea to have national standards, but it's just not. It will take NSW back a decade and will put new drivers in at risk. I call on the Transport Ministers to raise the standards required for the Taxi Industry, not to lower them," said Mr Harrison.

Media Contact:
Tracey Cain
on 0411 644 999.

SOURCE: NSW Taxi Council
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