Miles Kemp, The Advertiser
November 1, 2017 8:08pm
UBER drivers would be forced to operate under the same rules as cabbies under tough new legislation introduced to State Parliament.
Penalties include demerit points, licence suspensions and disqualifications for driving a public passenger vehicle or providing a passenger transport service without holding the appropriate accreditation.
Similar penalties will apply for people who drive a vehicle without a current inspection certificate.
Uber drivers — many of whom are cab drivers off-shift — will also penalise drivers for the breaches of the companies they do casual work for, accept or intend to accept a booking from an unaccredited Transport Booking Service or unaccredited operator will also be introduced, again with penalties including demerit points, licence suspensions or disqualifications.
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said if passed the new laws would:
ALLOW courts to recover profits obtained from an offence.
BRING in a temporary automatic suspension of accreditation for drivers charged with a serious criminal offence, disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence.
SIMPLIFY proof needed to decide if an offence has been committed.
Taxi Council SA president Jim Triantafyllou welcomed the new rules, which were drawn up with the co-operation of Uber.
“The enforcement of the new penalties and regulations is paramount,’’ he said.
“All vehicles and drivers must be easily identifiable, especially to the police and Transport Department Inspectors.
“I can only stress that there must be a permanent identification sticker on all vehicles.
“Can you imagine a driver who has had a few alcoholic drinks, no identification sticker on the vehicle and going to pick up a customer.’’
Penalties for businesses that operate a passenger transport service without holding appropriate accreditation will also be increased from $30,000 for each offence to $35,000 for a first offence and $50,000 for each subsequent offence.
The State Government announced the widespread reforms to the taxi and chauffeur vehicle industry following a comprehensive, independent review this year.
“Unlike fines and expiations which can be paid for by a third party, demerit points will provide a new deterrent which directly affects a person’s ability to drive a vehicle, not just for work but at any time,’’ Mr Mullighan said.