Unsafe taxis ordered off road after sting


Four Tauranga taxis have been ordered off the road after they were found to be unsafe during a surprise sting.

The New Zealand Transport Agency teamed up with the the police's Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit in April to check taxis in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

They examined drivers' compliance with taxi rules, work times and logbooks, driver and transport licensing, as well as vehicle safety standards.

Taxis targeted in Tauranga, Rotorua and Hamilton had to undergo a mechanical examination and compliance inspection.

A total of 67 vehicles were checked, with the worst 10 vehicles ordered off the road due to mechanical defects - including four in Tauranga.

The other six were in Hamilton and Rotorua.

Two Tauranga taxi operations were ordered to stop working until their vehicles' security cameras were fixed.

The NZTA refused to say which taxi companies were involved, citing privacy.

Regional manager of access and use David Pearks said that, while overall the results were an improvement on similar operations conducted in the past, there were still vehicle faults and compliance issues that needed addressing by some taxi operators and drivers. "This improvement shows that the taxi organisations have the ability to manage the performance of their members and this is reflected in their drivers operating safer vehicles," he said.

"However, it's always disappointing when we find that not all organisations achieve this."

Mr Pearks said police were following up on a handful of prosecutions.

"Police will advise us of the outcomes from those."

His team would get the results back to the relevant taxi companies and work with them to target and fix the problems.


Clarification


This story about unsafe taxis being ordered off the road was earlier accompanied by a photograph of traffic which included a Kiwi Cabs taxi in the foreground and other taxis in the background. This was a generic photograph, and it did not depict the taxis to which the story related. As stated in the story, the NZTA has not disclosed which taxi companies were involved. Alert Group has advised that none of its taxis, which include Kiwi Cabs, were ordered off the road. We apologise if any readers took from the photograph that any Kiwi Cabs or other Alert Group taxis were involved.


 

- Bay of Plenty Times

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