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New transport legislation throws away public safety

New transport legislation throws away public safety

Blue Bubble Taxis is extremely disappointed the Government did not listen to the industry, and has pushed through flawed legislation that reduces safety for small passenger service vehicle (taxi) drivers and passengers.

The Land Transport Amendment Bill (No 2) passed its third and final reading in Parliament today, with the amendments relating to small passenger vehicles expected to come into force on 1 October 2017.

Blue Bubble Chief Executive Bob Wilkinson says “I am disappointed and quite frankly shocked the Government has proceeded with legislation that reduces safety for the New Zealand public and small passenger service vehicle drivers. We welcome competition and innovation, but are very concerned with this legislation.

“It is challenging to reconcile the Government’s statements that it is committed to making New Zealand roads safer, but on the other hand has reduced regulation for small passenger service vehicles, that was put in place to ensure safety.

“There are many examples of drivers exceeding work time hours, including the Uber driver dangerously driving for nine-hours straight, potentially working for 29 hours. This is unacceptable, and we are disappointed drivers will no longer be required to understand fatigue management and work time requirements.

“The Minister believes that technology ensures a safe method of transport, but an app only provides details of two mobile phones and no guarantee as to who is actually using the phone.

“It is also beggars belief that the Government ignored the disability sector’s pleas to retain braille signage on vehicles, which we also supported. One must question what, or who, was persuading the Government to do away with this.

“We are pleased that the requirement for all drivers to have a “P” Endorsement has been retained. This is an important safety protection for passengers that all drivers in New Zealand must have.

“But it is unacceptable that there are companies allowed to operate in New Zealand that do not comply with the current legislation. We cannot and should not tolerate scant regard for the rules.

“The Minister must ensure that the New Zealand Transport Agency has the resources and tools necessary to enforce the rules as New Zealanders expect is should. Unless we act and stand up to this, it will continue to happen.

“I commit to Blue Bubble Taxis continuing to comply with the legislative requirements and call out the other companies to state their commitment to comply with all New Zealand legislation and rules.

“I would like to thank the Labour Party, The Green Party, NZ First and the Maori Party who have stood up for passenger and driver safety.

“Reduced safety provisions are the last thing we wanted to see. Unfortunately, history tells us it’s not a question of if, but when a passenger or driver will be assaulted or seriously injured.

About Blue Bubble:

Blue Bubble Alliance Ltd is a group of 16 Taxi Companies throughout New Zealand. We operate around 2,000 taxis in 16 cities across New Zealand, and have around 3,000 drivers. Blue Bubble offers a range of services to the community including 24/7 availability; booking through our app, phone, online or hail; we accept Eftpos, Credit Cards, TaxiCharge and cash; airport transfers; vehicle options including vans and mobility vehicles; hybrid vehicles and Carbon Zero Certified cars; and a companion service for medial or shopping needs

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