Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (928)

Mick Barry


928. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures being taken to ensure that taxi drivers in the Cork city area are protected from anti-social behaviour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44831/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I am keenly aware of the importance of protecting the safety of our small public service vehicle (SPSV) drivers. In this regard, there are currently a number of offences for passengers, or intending passengers, set under the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. Furthermore, under SPSV regulations made by the regulator, the National Transport Authority (NTA), a driver may refuse to carry a disorderly or abusive passenger.

Earlier this year, the NTA launched a “Taxi Driver Respect” public awareness campaign advocating respect for taxi drivers. It illustrates how taxi drivers can be anyone – a family member or a friend and, as such, deserve our respect.

While the NTA is the regulator of the SPSV sector, if an incident of a criminal nature is brought to the NTA’s attention, they will refer it to An Garda Síochána. It is An Garda Síochána who investigate offences of this type – not the NTA. Furthermore, as the Deputy is aware, legislation relating to matters of a criminal nature and enforcement against same is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality.