PUBLIC and Commuter Transport Minister Alan Kelly has launched a new Taxi Driver Check Smartphone app, devised by the National Transport Authority. The App allows passengers in Tipperary to check the licence details of both the vehicle and the driver, and to see an ID photo of the authorised driver.
The passenger is then able to simply forward these details (minus the photo) to a friend – all of which will reassure taxi customers that they are travelling safely, and that there is a record of their trip.
All details can be checked by a customer before they get in the vehicle.
Minister Kelly said: “I am delighted that the Taxi Driver Check App is now available. We are using technology to give consumers more confidence in the taxi sector and make the public feel safer when travelling in a taxi. For drivers it will promote greater professionalism and accountability and the data is already public record but being made accessible to the public in an easy way,
“As part of the Department’s recent Taxi Regulation Review, I promised a safety and security measure so the public would feel safer when travelling in taxis in Ireland and this App will address those concerns. It was one of my top priorities following the taxi review It is a welcome step forward for both drivers and consumers alike. It will assist in improving the taxi experience and make people more likely to use a taxi,” added the Junior Minister.
The App is easy to use; all a consumer has to do is launch it on their phone, and then input one of the following:
- ordinary vehicle registration number
- vehicle licence number – displayed on roof-sign and on door signs
- driver licence number (displayed on the ID card on the dashboard of the vehicle)
- Scan the QR code on the vehicle which is located on a disc on both the front and rear windscreens.
On first use, consumers will be asked to register their own contact details, to enable sending a quick message to a friend from a cab, and to assist in following up any subsequent reports they may submit.
Approximately 70 per cent of taxi vehicles are registered with the database and members of the public are being asked to assist making this 100 per cent.
“The fact is that people will begin walking away from taxis which return a “No details available” screen on the App so I would call on drivers to ensure they are on the database. The National Transport Authority is enforcing the regulations by imposing the fixed charge fine of €40 on drivers who have not registered. Consumers will be helping with this by pressing the “Report” button option on any “No details available” screen they get on the App”, stated Deputy Kelly.
This App is being made available by the National Transport Authority and is free to download from Apple’s App Store and the Android’s Google Play Store.