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 Post subject: Not happy in Eire
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Abusive cabbies must face new gripe watchdog

ABUSIVE or overcharging taxi drivers must be subject to a new complaints procedure, as the existing system fails passengers and honest drivers, taxi representatives said yesterday.

Vinny Kearns, National Taxi Drivers Union, said his office received far more complaints than the official 425 claimed for 2004 by the Garda Carriage Office.

He said it was "nearly impossible" to get through to the Garda service, which is only open between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

He said the need for people to write a report of their complaint, and then appear in court to give evidence, deterred many complainants and was impossible for tourists to comply with.

"How in the name of God do they expect people to get through? Most complaints happen in the evening or late at night," he said. "Most of the complaints made to us concern overcharging or abusive behaviour . . . There should be a 24-hour voice message service where you can leave your details, and it should be possible to record them on line."

He believed complaints had increased massively since deregulation, and said the Government had failed to take steps to set suitable controls on drivers.

"The majority of taxi drivers are honest, decent, hard-working individuals, who have nothing to fear from a proper complaints procedure. Honest taxi drivers want proper policing of the industry."

The 425 official complaints in 2004 were accounted for through overcharging (139 passengers), aggressive behaviour (112), dangerous driving (60) and cabbies taking wrong routes, according to the latest issue of trade magazine 'Taxi Independent'.

Some people were also furious at being subjected to lewd or sexually suggestive behaviour, while 35 people contacted the Carriage Office over taxi drivers who refused to take fares. Two corresponded with gardai about racial abuse.

New independent taxi regulator Ger Deering is set to publish the results of his first national review later this month. It will be the forerunner to legislation intended to make the taxi industry safer. Mr Deering has said new measures will cover quality, safety and fare regulation, making taxis more efficient and customer friendly. Proposed basic training would also include an awareness of the needs of the disabled.

Labour TD Roisin Shortall said she had on one occasion failed in 20 attempts to get through to the Garda Carriage Office. She was anxious to see the long awaited report of the taxi regulator, having been alarmed at reports of the number of drivers with convictions for violent crimes.

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 Post subject: Re: Not happy in Eire
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 7:06 am 
Sussex wrote:
"The majority of taxi drivers are honest, decent, hard-working individuals, who have nothing to fear from a proper complaints procedure. Honest taxi drivers want proper policing of the industry".

cannt really disagree with that.


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