Pedestrian Council of
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health
The Walking Class Heroes
Thursday 5 April 2012
NSW Taxi Drivers Must Wear Seat Belts
Passengers Seriously at Risk
Background: For over a decade the PCA has been campaigning to get the NSW Government to enact legislation requiring NSW taxi drivers to wear seat-belts. It fell on deaf ears, with the former Labor Government, kowtowing to their mates in Sussex Street. This has allowed this "protected species" to risk not only their own, but their passengers' lives and limbs. All other jurisdictions, except Queensland, require taxi drivers to wear seat-belts at all times. But at least in Queensland, taxi drivers must wear a seat-belt, if they are not carrying passengers. It is also widely rumoured that many taxi drivers deactivate their airbags, because they can decapitate an unbelted driver.
The tragic death of a taxi driver in inner Sydney last Friday, has prompted our calls for urgent action.
The Chairman of the PCA, Harold Scruby said: "For over a decade, we have been pleading with successive NSW Roads and Transport Minsters to require taxi drivers to wear seat-belts. They did nothing. In 2003 and 2007, we asked WorkCover to examine the problem. We stated that employees who were required to take taxis (public transport) during working hours were at very serious risk, being required to sit next to or in a taxi, where the driver was not wearing a seat-belt. We claimed that WorkCover had a responsibility to act. They did nothing, except pass-the-parcel back to the RTA.
"The good news is that under the O'Farrell government, WorkCover is now looking at the issue and following our lobbying in July 2011, the Ministers for Transport and Roads have commissioned an inquiry into the matter. A copy of our recent letter to the Minister for Transport, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian and correspondence with Workcover are attached.
"We feel confident that now Sussex Street is no longer running NSW, the NSW Government will see the compelling case for requiring all taxi drivers in NSW to wear seat-belts at all times and amend the legislation without delay." Mr Scruby said.
Copies of relevant correspondence dating back almost a decade can be found at:
Contact: Harold Scruby - (0418) 110-011 - See full details at walk.com.au
From: Pedestrian Council (Gmail) [mailto:email@example.com]
The Hon Gladys Berejiklian
Cc: The Hon Duncan Gay – Minister for Roads
Cc: Mr Les Wielinga – D-G Transport NSW
Taxi Drivers Not Wearing Seat-Belts in NSW
Yet while taxi drivers in Victoria and the ACT (and even Dubai and China) are required to wear seat-belts – not so in NSW, where taxi drivers are a protected species.
While we failed dismally several years ago, Ms Carmel Donnelly, General Manager Strategy & Performance Division, with whom I worked when she was at the MAA, has indicated that she and her team are looking at the problem.
Copies of the correspondence are below.
(QUOTE): “They are angry about a lack of adequate safety and security measures for drivers following the stabbing of a 23-year-old driver from Reservoir yesterday.”
So if it’s not a safety issue in Victoria, why on earth are NSW taxi drivers not required to wear seat-belts.
I would be happy to formulate a new reply letter
Just in the meantime, I have had a couple of quick conversations with senior colleagues and there is interest in considering what can be done about this issue.
From: Pedestrian Council
Sent: Wednesday 18 January 2012 2:43 PM
To: Carmel Donnelly (WorkCover NSW)
Subject: Seat Belts: Inquiry into the NSW Taxi Industry
Good to talk again, finally, this afternoon.
Here’s some of the correspondence re taxi drivers not wearing seat-belts.
Unbelievably, in spite of our submission to the Taxi Industry Inquiry, the matter did not even rate a mention, although it did find:
2.46 In addition, a passenger should be able to travel in a taxi that is smoke free, clean, tidy and well maintained. A passenger’s responsibilities include paying the correct fare, wearing a seat belt, not acting offensively and not asking a driver to stop illegally or unsafely.63
We received another of Mr Blackwell classic pass-the-parcel replies – straight off the word processor.
But for some reason, I just can’t find it.
Would you please see if you can send me the copies of the correspondence: ours and yours.
In the meantime, please watch these 2 videos. I’m sure you’ll agree that no-one in the safety industry should remain silent while NSW taxi drivers are allowed to drive around unbuckled. It’s a scandal.
Pedestrian Council of Australia Limited
Monday, 22 February 2012
As discussed, we will send you copies of correspondence, reports and photographs, so you can get an idea of the extent of the dangerous practices and offences committed by taxi drivers throughout NSW.
It is at epidemic levels.
Please bring to the attention of the committee that when Victorian taxi drivers blockaded Tullamarine and the CBD in 2008, over safety reforms (following the stabbing of a driver), NOT ONE DRIVER OBJECTED TO BEING REQUIRED TO WEAR A SEAT-BELT
It’s been compulsory for taxi drivers in Victoria to wear seat-belts for over a decade.
Further correspondence re illegal parking will follow.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
The Committee would welcome a submission to the inquiry from the Pedestrian Council of Australia. Submissions can be made via this email address.
The Committee has already held three public hearings, the transcripts of which are available on the Committee's website. At this stage, the Committee has no plans to hold additional public hearings.
If you would like to discuss this matter, please contact me on 9230 3528
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
The Hon John Ajaka MLC
NSW Parliamentary Select Committee
Inquiry into the NSW Taxi Industry
I am currently overseas and it has just been brought to my attention that the deadline for submissions o this inquiry finished on 22 January 2010.
We have some vitally important information to provide to the Committee including:
1 Information regarding the non wearing of seat-belts by NSW taxi drivers and the potential for harm to passengers and drivers (they are required to wear them in ACT and Victoria) and correspondence with WorkCover:
2 The results of our FoI regarding the non-enforcement of the law in relation to taxi driver parking offences, part of which was reported in the SMH on
We wish to address the committee.
We look forward to your urgent reply.
|101201 NSW Govt Response - Taxi industry report
NSW Parliamentary Inquiry Taxi Industry - Final report