S.I. No. 710/2007 - Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment and Licensing) Regulations 2007


Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 26th October, 2007.

The Commission for Taxi Regulation, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sections 34 and 39 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (No. 25 of 2003) hereby makes the following regulations:

Citation.

1. These Regulations may be cited as the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment and Licensing) Regulations 2007.

Definitions and Interpretation.

2. (1) In these Regulations—

“Act of 1961” means the Road Traffic Act 1961 (No. 24 of 1961);

“booking fee” means a fee that may be charged in respect of a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi service that had been booked in advanced by the consumer;

“Commission” means the Commission for Taxi Regulation;

“current maximum fare” means the maximum fare most recently fixed by the Commission by order under section 42 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (No. 25 of 2003);

“dispatch operator” means a person engaged in the activity of taking a booking of a small public service vehicle that is owned or driven by another person (other than an employee of the first person) and arranging with that small public service vehicle driver to provide the service booked;

“registered medical practitioner” means a person registered in the General Register of Medical Practitioners established under the Medical Practitioners Acts 1978 to 2000;

“Regulations of 1995” means the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 1995 ( S.I. No. 136 of 1995 );

“Regulations of 1999” means the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1999 ( S.I. No. 316 of 1999 );

“Regulations of 2000” means the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2000 ( S.I. No. 367 of 2000 );

“Regulations of 2001” means the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2001 ( S.I. No. 38 of 2001 );

“Regulations of 2007” means the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 ( S.I. No. 280 of 2007 );

(2) References to “licensing authority” in the Road Traffic (Small Public Service Vehicles) Regulations 1963 to 2002 shall be deemed to mean the Commission for Taxi Regulation;

(3) References to “taximeter area” in the Road Traffic (Small Public Service Vehicles) Regulations 1963 to 2002 shall be deemed to mean the national taximeter area, as declared by the Commission for Taxi Regulation under section 41 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 with effect from 25 September 2006, and references to Dublin, Cork, Galway, Donegal or other taximeter areas shall be read accordingly;

(4) The terms defined by the Road Traffic Act 1961 and by the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations 1963 to 2002 shall have the same meanings in these Regulations that are assigned to them by that Act and those statutory instruments.

Licensing Authority.

3. A reference to a licensing authority in regulations made under section 82 of the Act of 1961 is to be read as including a reference to the Commission.

Fees.

4. (1) The fees specified in the Fourth Schedule (inserted by Regulation 7 of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2001 ( S.I. No. 534 of 2001 )) to the Regulations of 1995 continue to be the fees to be paid in respect of the grant of a licence.

(2) Where, in the case of a transfer of a licence from one vehicle to another, the licence is transferred back to the original vehicle within eight weeks of the date of transfer, the licence holder may apply to the Commission for a refund in the sum of 50 per cent of the fee specified in the Fourth Schedule to the Regulations of 1995, as paid by the licence holder.

Commission to grant licences.

5. The Commission may grant licences.

One Licence; One Vehicle.

6. (1) A small public service vehicle licence shall be granted or, from the date of renewal, renewed only in relation to a vehicle in respect of which no other small public service vehicle licence is in force.

(2) The holder of a licence in respect of a small public service vehicle shall not, on renewal of his or her licence, operate or purport to operate more than one small public service vehicle licence in respect of a single vehicle.

(3) The holder of a licence in respect of a small public service vehicle shall not, on renewal of his or her licence, operate or purport to operate a small public service vehicle licence in relation to a vehicle in respect of which another small public service vehicle licence is in force.

(4) On change of ownership of a small public service vehicle, the small public service vehicle licence lapses and the holder of that licence has until the date of expiry of the licence concerned within which to transfer the licence to another vehicle.

Tamper-proof disc.

7. (1) Subject to paragraph (5), a small public service vehicle licence shall not be granted or renewed unless a tamper-proof licence disc issued by the Commission is affixed in a prominent position, as determined by the Commission, to the front and rear windows of the vehicle.

(2) A person shall not, without the prior consent of the Commission, remove or attempt to remove a tamper-proof licence disc referred to in paragraph (1).

(3) A driver shall not operate or purport to operate a small public service vehicle licence in relation to a vehicle to which a tamper-proof disc has not been affixed in accordance with paragraph (1).

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), on change of ownership of a small public service vehicle, the holder of the small public service vehicle licence in respect of that vehicle shall remove the tamper-proof licence disc referred to in Regulation 3 and confirm in writing to the Commission for Taxi Regulation that this disc has been so removed

(5) In respect of vehicles that are in excess of 30 years old, the Commission may, at its discretion, waive the requirement in paragraph (1) to display a tamper-proof licence disc on the rear window

In-vehicle information.

8. (1) The driver of a small public service vehicle shall display in the small public service vehicle the relevant in-vehicle information provided by the Commission, in the manner determined by the Commission.

(2) The information referred to in paragraph (1) includes:

(a) the rights and obligations of consumers relevant to the class of small public service vehicle concerned;

(b) in taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis, details of the current maximum fare;

(c) the small public service vehicle licence number;

(d) such other information as may be determined by the Commission.

(3) The holder of a small public service vehicle licence or the driver of a small public service vehicle shall not, without the prior consent of the Commission, remove or attempt to remove the in-vehicle information referred to in paragraph (1).

Obligation not to unreasonably refuse fares of 30 kilometres or under.

9. The driver of a taxi or a wheelchair accessible taxi who is plying for hire or standing for hire shall not unreasonably refuse to carry a passenger where that passenger’s proposed journey is not more than 30 kilometres in distance from the commencement of the journey.

Taximeter — Fares.

10. (1) The driver of a taxi or a wheelchair accessible taxi shall not operate or purport to operate a vehicle as a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi unless the taximeter fitted to the vehicle in respect of which he or she holds a small public service vehicle licence is properly calibrated in accordance with the current maximum fare.

(2) When a maximum fares order is made by the Commission, the holder of a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi licence shall have his or her taximeter calibrated in accordance with the current maximum fare within a period of 21 days from the date on which the maximum fares order comes into operation.

(3) The driver of a taxi or a wheelchair accessible taxi shall not, while such vehicle is standing for hire or plying for hire, cause the taximeter in the vehicle to commence operating.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), the driver of a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi shall operate the taximeter for so long as the vehicle is on hire.

(5) In circumstances other than where the taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi is standing for hire or plying for hire, where there is a prior written agreement between the driver or operator and the consumer confirming—

(a) the charge for a pre-booked service, and

(b) that the consumer waives his or her right to have the fare calculated on the taximeter,

the fare may be calculated other than by means of the taximeter.

Taximeter — Technical Specifications.

11. (1) The driver of a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi licence shall not operate or purport a vehicle as a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi unless there is fitted to the vehicle a taximeter complying with these Regulations.

(2) A taximeter fitted to a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi shall—

(a) be securely attached to the vehicle so that the taximeter cannot be detached or be caused to become inaccurate by vibration of the engine or by the motion of the vehicle,

(b) be in such position on the vehicle as to enable a passenger inside the vehicle easily to see and read the taximeter,

(c) have the transmitter cable connecting the taximeter with the wheels or the driving mechanism of the vehicle so situated and so protected by an outer cover as to render damage to the cable unlikely,

(d) be fitted with a device capable of printing automatically a receipt showing the fare charged for a hire, and

(e) be in good order, repair and condition and subject to the terms of the Metrology Act 1996 (No. 27 of 1996) have affixed the mark or marks signifying conformity with that Act.

Booking Fee.

12. A driver or operator of a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi may not charge a booking fee where engaged:

(a) while plying for hire or standing for hire, or

(b) without having been booked in advance by the consumer, at any location including an airport or other transport station or terminal.

Appointed Stands.

13. (1) The driver of a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi shall not allow the vehicle to stand at an appointed stand unless the vehicle concerned is available for hire.

(2) The driver of a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi shall not stand for hire at a place other than an appointed stand.

Prohibition on hackneys or limousines plying for hire or standing for hire.

14. The driver of a hackney or limousine shall not ply for hire or stand for hire.

Guide dogs.

15. (1) Notwithstanding Regulation 54(6) of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations 1963 ( S.I. No. 191 of 1963 ) and subject to paragraph (2), the driver of a small public service vehicle shall not refuse to carry in his or her vehicle a guide dog or other assistance dog accompanying a person with disabilities.

(2) The driver of a small public service vehicle may refuse to carry a guide dog or other assistance dog in his or her vehicle where that driver has furnished to the Commission, in advance of the refusal, a written statement from a registered medical practitioner certifying that the driver concerned is medically unfit to carry a dog in his or her vehicle.

Taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi receipts.

16. (1) Where a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi is engaged in a hire in respect of which a maximum fare has been fixed by the Commission, the driver shall provide a receipt in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) A receipt to which paragraph (1) refers shall display the following minimum information:

(a) the full fare (including all extras which shall be indicated separately) chargeable for the hire,

(b) the date, starting time and finishing time of the hire,

(c) the total distance travelled in kilometres,

(d) the licence number of the taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi,

(e) the unique identification mark (registration number) of the vehicle,

(f) the receipt number (in sequential order),

(g) a space at the foot of the receipt headed “Tips/Discounts/Tolls”, and

(h) such other relevant information as may be determined by the Commission.

Hackney or limousine receipts.

17. (1) The driver of a hackney or limousine shall provide to the passenger a receipt, as determined by the Commission, at the end of his or her journey.

(2) In respect of a hackney, the receipt referred to in paragraph (1) shall include:

(a) the receipt number;

(b) the small public service vehicle licence number;

(c) the unique identification mark (registration number) of the vehicle;

(d) the date;

(e) the distance travelled in kilometres;

(f) the amount charged.

(3) In respect of a limousine, the receipt referred to in paragraph (1) shall include:

(a) the receipt number;

(b) the small public service vehicle licence number,

(c) the unique identification mark (registration number) of the vehicle;

(d) the date;

(e) the amount charged.

Local Knowledge.

18. A taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi may stand for hire or ply for hire only in the county in respect of which the driver of the vehicle concerned has demonstrated a satisfactory knowledge of the local area, as determined by the Commission.

Passenger.

19. A passenger in a small public service vehicle shall not consume food or drink in that vehicle without the prior express consent of the driver.

Insurance Certificate.

20. A certificate of insurance in respect of a small public service vehicle shall be in such form as may be determined by the Commission.

Roof Sign.

21. (1) On the granting of a taxi licence or wheelchair accessible taxi licence or, where a new licence number is issued, within 28 days of the date of issue of that number, the licence-holder shall, while such vehicle is being operated as a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi, display on the roof of the vehicle a sign (in these Regulations referred to as a taxi sign) which shall comply with the requirements set out in the Schedule to these Regulations.

(2) A taxi sign shall be lit up during lighting-up hours except when the vehicle is on hire or is standing for hire at an appointed stand.

(3) A taxi or a wheelchair accessible taxi shall not be operated in a taximeter area unless a taxi sign is displayed on the roof of the vehicle in accordance with these Regulations and the Schedule hereto.

(4) A taxi sign shall at no time be so defaced, obscured or altered in such a manner that the word “TAXI” or “TACSA?” or the licence number are rendered illegible or partly illegible.

(5) Whenever a taxi licence or a wheelchair accessible taxi licence is revoked or suspended the person who held the licence immediately prior to revocation or suspension shall from the date of the revocation or suspension cease to display the taxi sign and, within seven days, deliver the licence granted in respect of the vehicle to the Commission.

(6) Whenever a taxi licence or a wheelchair accessible taxi licence ceases to be in force and an application for the renewal of the licence is not made, or an application for the renewal of the licence is refused, the licence-holder shall immediately upon cessation of the licence or upon receipt of notification from the Commission of the refusal of the application for the renewal of the licence cease to display the taxi sign.

Driver identification.

22. (1) The driver of a small public service vehicle shall display, as determined by the Commission, in a prominent place on the dashboard of every small public service vehicle or, where this is not possible, on some other place in the vehicle that can be easily seen by a passenger from inside the vehicle an identification card.

(2) The identification card referred to in paragraph (1) shall contain the following information:

(a) the name of the driver;

(b) a photograph of the driver;

(c) the driver’s Small Public Service Vehicle Driver Licence Number;

(d) the date of expiry of the driver’s Small Public Service Vehicle Driver Licence;

(e) on the reverse side of the card, displayed in a manner that is clearly visible from outside the vehicle, or as otherwise determined by the Commission, the name of the county in respect of which the driver licence to drive a small public service vehicle issued;

(f) such security features as may be determined by the Commission;

(g) such other relevant information as the Commission may from time to time determine.

(3) A person shall not display or attempt to display or knowingly have in his or her possession a forged document purporting to be an identification card referred to in paragraph (1).

Prohibition on advertising on hackneys or limousines.

23. The licence-holder of a hackney or limousine licence shall not display or permit to be displayed any sign or advertisement other than one prescribed by the Commission.

Amendment to Regulations of 1995.

24. The Regulations of 1995 are amended in Regulation 16(2B) (1) (inserted by Regulation 2(c) of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 154 of 2006 )) by—

(a) deleting “within a period of six months from the date on which the licence elapsed”, and

(b) substituting subparagraphs (4) and (5) for the following:

“(4) A small public service vehicle licence that has lapsed for in excess of five years from the date of expiry may not be renewed.”.

Amendment to the Regulations of 1999.

25. The Regulations of 1999 are amended by—

(a) in Regulation 8(4) by substituting “one prescribed by the Commission for Taxi Regulation” for “a limousine sign that complies with this article”, and

(b) in Regulation 10(3) by substituting “one prescribed by the Commission for Taxi Regulation” for “hackney signs”.

Revocations.

26. The following Regulations are revoked—

(a) Regulation 11 (as amended by the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1970 ( S.I. No. 200 of 1970 )) of the Regulations of 1963;

(b) Regulation 3(2), 6, 7, 27 (as inserted by Regulation 16 of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2000 ( S.I. No. 367 of 2000 )), Regulations 28, 29, 31, 32(2), (3) and (4), 33 and 35 of the Regulations of 1995 and the First, Third and Eighth Schedules to the Regulations of 1995;

(c) Regulations 7(1) and (2), 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the Regulations of 1999;

(d) Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 1999 ( S.I. No. 445 of 1999 );

(e) Regulations 14(1) and 15 of the Regulations of 2000;

(f) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Fees and Licensing) Regulations 2005 ( S.I. No. 651 of 2005 );

(g) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 154 of 2006 );

(h) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Fixed Charge Offences) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 155 of 2006 ;

(i) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Licensing) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 211 of 2006 );

(j) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Tamper-Proof Licence Disc) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 305 of 2006 );

(k) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (One Vehicle; One Licence) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 439 of 2006 );

(l) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Licensing) (No. 2) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 467 of 2006 );

(m) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Tamper-Proof Licence Disc) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 482 of 2006 );

(n) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 493 of 2006 );

(o) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Licensing) (No. 2) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 501 of 2006 );

(p) Taxi Regulation Act 2003 (Small Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 ( S.I. No. 280 of 2007 ).

Regulation 21.

SCHEDULE REQUIREMENTS TO BE COMPLIED WITH IN RELATION TO A TAXI SIGN

1. The sign shall be constructed of a durable material, be weatherproof and capable of being securely mounted on the roof of the vehicle so that it is not subject to vibration likely to damage the electric light installation required under paragraph 4 of this Schedule.

2. The dimensions of the sign shall be such that the surface of the sign which is capable of being illuminated shall not be more than 120 millimetres approximately and not less than 110 millimetres approximately in height and not more than 1,100 millimetres approximately in length.

3. (1) the front and rear faces of the sign shall each be divided into three sections of equal size.

(2) The central sections on each face of the sign shall display the word ‘TAXI’ or, in the Irish language, ‘TACSAI’ in yellow letters on a dark blue background of low light transmittance. No letter shall be more than 90 millimetres high or more than 16 millimetres in stroke width.

(3) The sections of the sign on the left of the sign as viewed from the rear of the vehicle and on the right of the sign as viewed from the front shall have a yellow background and shall display on that background in black letters or numerals as the case may be—

(a) the licence number, each numeral of which shall be approximately 89 millimetres in height; the strokes for each numeral shall be approximately 16 millimetres broad; the total width of every numeral except the numeral “I” shall be approximately 63 millimetres and the spacing between the nearest parts of adjoining numerals shall be approximately 7 millimetres, and

(b) to the left or right hand side of the licence number, the words ‘licence number’ or, in the Irish language, ‘uimhir cheadunais’.

(4) No letter or numeral displayed on the remaining sections of each face of the sign shall exceed 70 millimetres in height.

4. (1) The sign shall be capable of being lit by means of an internal electric light installation.

(2) The sign when lit shall not show a red light to the front or a white light to the rear.

(3) The sign when lit shall emit a diffused light and shall be designed to emit a light of a brightness not exceeding 400 candela per square metre of the illuminated area of the sign.

5. (1) Subject to subparagraph (2), the panel on the right of the sign as viewed from the rear of the vehicle and on the left of the sign as viewed from the front of the vehicle shall contain only—

(a) the contact details in relation to the taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi,

(b) the contact details of the dispatch operator, as appropriate, or

(c) the name of a small public service vehicle representative body.

(2) A wheelchair accessible taxi shall display on the panel on the right of the sign as viewed from the rear of the vehicle or on the left of the sign as viewed from the front of the vehicle the following symbol or a substantially similar symbol, which symbol shall be approximately 90 millimetres in height:

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(3) Where the panel on the right of the sign as viewed from the rear of the vehicle or on the left of the sign as viewed from the front of the vehicle remains blank, its background shall be yellow in colour.

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GIVEN under the seal of the Commission for Taxi Regulation,

25 October 2007

KATHLEEN DOYLE.

Commissioner for Taxi Regulation.

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

(This note is not part of the instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)

These Regulations consolidate provisions in relation to the following:

•Confirmation of existing fees payable for the grant, continuation in force or renewal of licences in respect of small public service vehicles (SPSVs). By virtue of section 50(1) of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 , licence fees accrue to the Commission for Taxi Regulation (Commission);

•Confirmation that the Commission may grant licences in respect of SPSVs and their drivers.

•Revocation of the power of local authorities to fix maximum taxi fares which is now a function of Commission under section 42 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 ;

•Confirmation that a person may not operate more than one SPSV licence in respect of a single vehicle and that no two or more persons may operate a SPSV licence in respect to a single vehicle. On change of ownership of a SPSV, the SPSV licence lapses and the existing licence-holder has until the date of expiry of the licence within which to transfer that licence to another vehicle. If the licence-holder fails to transfer that licence to another vehicle before the date of expiry of the licence, the licence will expire on that date.

•tamper-proof disc requirements;

•in-vehicle information requirements;

•The obligation not to unreasonably refuse a fare that is not more than 30 kilometres;

•Taximeter requirements in relation to fares;

•Requirements in relation to technical specifications in relation to the fitting and operation of taximeters;

•The circumstances in which a booking fee may not be charged;

•Requirements in relation to appointed stands;

•Obligations in relation to carrying a guide or assistance dog;

•Requirements in relation to taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi receipts;

•Requirements in relation to hackney or limousine receipts;

•Requirements in relation to local knowledge;

•Obligation on passenger not to consume food or drink;

•Form of insurance certificate;

•Taxi roof sign requirements;

•Driver identification requirements;

•Prohibition on advertising on hackneys or limousines;

In addition, they:

•Remove the necessity to apply to the District Court to restore a SPSV licence that has lapsed for in excess of six months;

•Expressly prohibit hackneys and limousines from standing for hire or plying for hire;

•Provide that a taxi licence may not be restored if it has not been renewed within five years of the date of its expiry date.