Minister seeks to draft new laws for the taxi industryWednesday 03 October 2012 23.49
Minister of State at the Department of Transport Alan Kelly is to bring a bill dealing with laws to prevent people with convictions for specific crimes from operating a taxi.
Minister Kelly also announced that, from January, taxi drivers will no longer be allowed to transfer licences.
He said that there will be a tightening-up on the renting of licences and that data will be shared more comprehensively between the relevant authorities.
A penalty points system will also be introduced from January whereby taxi drivers who repeatedly breach taxi regulations could face a three month suspension of their licence.
The Minister plans to bring forward a revised taxi review bill in the coming weeks.
All taxis drivers in Ireland will be obliged to have branding on the front doors of their vehicles under the new measures announced today.
Taxi drivers will have to ensure their vehicle is branded when they renew their licences, which they have to do annually.
The compulsory branding of the country's 19,000 taxis will be completed by the end of 2013.
Director of Taxi Regulation at the NTA Hugh Creegan said that to introduce a colour branding system, such as the yellow cabs in New York or black cabs in London, would have been too expensive.
They have opted instead for tear-drop type symbol, with a diagonal green and blue stripe through it which includes the taxi licence number.
Mr Creegan said the cost of applying the branding could be up to €200, but that competition in the market might reduce this.
President of the Irish Taxi Federation John Usher has said that he opposes obligatory branding as it imposes an additional cost on taxi drivers.