10 Aug 2011

700 taxis without safety system off road

7:13 pm on 10 August 2011

More than 200 taxi drivers say they have missed the deadline to fit cars with mandatory security cameras because their supplier has failed to provide the equipment and is not returning calls.

The New Zealand Transport Agency says 720 cabs, or 10% of the national fleet, are not allowed on the roads because they have not complied.

A deadline has now lapsed for taxi companies to fit a security camera system and an alarm capable of notifying their base in an emergency, as required by law.

But a spokesperson for Discount Taxis in Auckland, Fia Toleafoa, says drivers have been waiting since July for South Island supplier Guard Security to fit their 200-vehicle fleet with the security system.

The company says its drivers have been forced to stop working to avoid a possible $400 fine.

A1 Cabs in Whangerei says the same supplier only sent them 18 cameras for their 26 cars and no emergency buttons.

An employee of Guard Security has confirmed that they missed their delivery time and some stock did not arrive. However, he says he cannot get in touch with his boss either.

But the Taxi Federation says cab companies barred from the roads for not installing mandatory security cameras have had months to get their act together.

It says about 24 companies have not installed the mandatory security cameras and will not be able to operate until they do.

Executive director Tim Reddish told Checkpoint on Wednesday the law came into effect in December last year and companies have had months to comply.

Mr Reddish says the Transport Agency is right to deny exemptions to companies that have procrastinated.