Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has confirmed that the legislation requiring taxis to have an approved meter and printer installed will be enforced from the 1 October.
Minister Hazzard said: “In the past few months, I have engaged directly with the taxi industry and while it is regrettable that some drivers and operators have delayed arranging fitting and sealing of meters and printers until the last minute, I recognise the concerns being expressed around the timescales to have a meter/printer installed and tested by DVA by 1 October.
“I have therefore instructed DVA enforcement officers to continue with a light touch approach to enforcement at the roadside, provided the driver can prove they have booked a test date prior to 1 October 2016, even if the test is not due to take place until later in the year. I believe this will go a long way to addressing the concerns of the industry and I hope they take this opportunity to meet these requirements and create an enhanced experience for their customers.
“I made it clear when I inherited this issue that I was determined to ensure that the public in the North had a safe and modern taxi industry. The installation of taximeters and printers are integral in achieving this and will create a safer, fairer and fit for purpose taxi industry, protecting both drivers and customers. Consumers are entitled to expect the protection of a properly calibrated and sealed meter, as provided for in law, particularly coming up to the busy Christmas period.”
1. Meters and printers became compulsory for all Class A and Class B taxis from 31 May 2016 and communications on this issued to the Taxi Industry in February and April. The former DOE advised that full enforcement of the new law would not take place until 1 October, giving them a further four months to arrange fitting and testing of meters.
2. DVA will carry out the testing and sealing of printers and meters. Whilst every effort will be made to provide the applicant with the DVA test centre of their choice, applicants will have to be prepared to travel to a test centre with capacity to carry out the test. Any cancellation of the test date by the applicant will void their protection from enforcement action.
3. Those who cannot provide evidence of having booked before 1 October will be at risk of enforcement action, including a £120 Fixed Penalty Notice.
4. The Taxis Act (NI) 2008 set out legislative changes to how the taxi Industry in the North will operate. Major changes included:
- Four new classes of Taxi Licence, A, B, C, and D to replace the existing PSV licence categories
- a better service for people with disabilities;
- Class A and B taxis need a new roof sign, approved taximeter and printer;
- Class C taxis are not permitted to display a roof sign or advertise and are not required to have a meter or printer;
- Class D relates to taxi buses which operate under a road service permit and
- a new style taxi driver test