Taxi crackdown ends in fines

TWEED Coolangatta Taxis fared poorly at the weekend compared to its Gold Coast counterparts during Queensland Transport's Operation Terminus crackdown on the southern Gold Coast.

A Queensland Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said 12 NSW taxis were issued with eight infringement notices.

This was due to problems ranging from "deficient tyres" to not producing a licence.

"Every NSW taxi driver was issued with a Cross Border Taxi Information sheet outlining their requirements," the spokesperson said.

This was compared to 57 Queensland taxis checked, of which four were found to have only minor defects.

Tweed Coolangatta Taxis general manager Murray Spence said the officers were within their rights to check his cabs.

"Obviously the statistics don't look good for us," he said.

"But I'm quite happy with them doing their jobs."

Mr Spence said he believed his taxis became "tied up in a major blitz" targeting cars towing boats south after the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, among others.

"They've left us alone for six months and I think if it was specifically taxi-oriented they would have been more drummed up on taxi requirements.

"Some of our drivers didn't realise they had to have specific certificates."

He also said drunks and other troublesome patrons could cause problems leading to taxi-drivers being punished by authorities.

"It's amazing the amount of things drunks steal out of taxis.

"They'll steal head rests, mats and drivers really can't scrutinise every person who gets out of taxis," Mr Spence said.

Queensland Transport failed to respond to questions about whether its officers were more closely scrutinising Tweed-Coolangatta Taxis or if NSW taxi regulations were less strict.

Its spokesperson said an inspector's role was to ensure compliance by all vehicles travelling on state roads.

"Transport and Main Roads is obliged to check any vehicle providing a public passenger service in Queensland.

"Inspectors do not travel into NSW to check vehicles."

Infringement notices issued to NSW taxis in Coolangatta at the weekend included:

One major defect issued for deficient tyres (taxi ordered off the road);

One minor defect issued;

One Penalty Infringement Notice issued for major defect (tyres below legal limit);

One Penalty Infringement Notice issued for driver fail to produce licence;

Four follow-up actions for operator failing to ensure licence kept inside the taxi.

Topics:  coolangatta, state border, taxi, tweed



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