Education and Compliance

Find out about compliance checks and procedures, including what to expect from audits, improvement notices and infringements.

  Conduct of Education and Compliance Officers

Code of conduct

Department of Transport (DoT) Education and Compliance Officers are bound by the DoT Code of Conduct and the Public Sector Commission Code of Ethics, and are required to behave professionally and remain approachable and courteous at all times.

If you have concerns regarding the behaviour of an Education and Compliance Officer, you can complete the General feedback, compliments and complaints online form

Officer identification

Officers are required to carry authorisation cards when acting in an official compliance capacity and must produce the authorisation whenever practical and upon request. 

The cards outline:

  • their name;
  • what legislation they are authorised under; and 
  • a photograph of the officer.

Officers who are authorised under multiple pieces of legislation may carry more than one card.

Opens in a new window Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018
External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2019

  Advisory visits and audits

Advisory visits

The Department of Transport's On-demand Transport Safety Assurance team and Regional Officers are here to help industry understand their obligations under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 (the Act).

Passenger transport operators can request for an officer to visit their worksite to conduct an advisory visit. During an advisory visit, officers will talk through the safety obligations and authorisation conditions detailed in the Act and Regulations, and provide support to service providers to understand how to meet their obligations.

Visit Responsibilities for authorised booking services for more information about obligations for booking services.

To request an advisory visit please contact On-demand Transport on 1300 660 147 or via email

Audits

Officers will attend and perform audits to ensure service providers are meeting their obligations. To help operators prepare for an audit, officers will provide an audit checklist to guide the discussions.

If non-conformances are identified, operators may receive one or more improvement notices. The notices will help operators understand what actions they need to take to fix any issues and specify a timeframe in which to do this.

When conducting an audit, Officers will check that the operator is meeting their obligations under the Act. Checks will include:

  • Is a safety management system in place?
  • Does the safety management system identify all hazards that might apply to their services and do they have appropriate systems in place to mitigate these, including:
    • fatigue management;
    • driver distraction;
    • assault on drivers;
    • assault on passengers;
    • vehicle maintenance;
    • driver competency;
    • safe service for wheelchair passengers; and
    • appropriate use and management of camera recordings.
  • Vehicle and driver authorisations.
  • Record keeping.
  • Complaints management.
  • Compliance with mandatory reporting requirements of notifiable occurrences and driver behaviour.

For more information, visit Safety management for booking services.

  Driver and vehicle checks

DoT Education and Compliance Officers conduct targeted and randomised driver and vehicle checks by stopping vehicles while they may be operating. 

Vehicle stops

Officers have powers to stop a vehicle regardless of the registration plates displayed. Officers will typically use special vehicles marked by the colour magenta.

If you notice a compliance vehicle signalling you to stop with flashing lights or a siren, pull over cautiously at the safest opportunity. It may be an offence if you fail to stop. 

Officer powers

When conducting a check, officers have powers to inspect the vehicle and can require the driver to provide certain information or records. Officers can and will take photographs related to any issues they identify. 

If an officer suspects that an offence has been committed by a driver and wants to question the driver about this, the driver will be cautioned that they have the right to not answer any questions. 

Officers can also question passengers.

 

Opens in a new window Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018
External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2019

  Intelligence

The public and members of the passenger transport industry can report any suspected or witnessed contraventions of the Act to DoT.

These could include:

  • passenger, vehicle or driver safety risks;
  • businesses, vehicles and/or drivers operating without the correct authorisation;
  • vehicles other than taxis touting for work;
  • unauthorised advertising; or
  • fraud.

For further information on making a report, please visit contact On-demand Transport.

Officers will follow up these reports in a timely manner.

  Investigations

DoT has specialist investigators who build on intelligence to determine if an offence has been committed. This may lead to the issuing of infringements, prosecution or actions to suspend or cancel authorisations. To help these investigations, officers are provided with certain powers under the Act. 

Controlled operations

The Act gives officers the power to undertake controlled operations. Like a mystery shopper, controlled operations allow an authorised person to pose as a passenger in a taxi, charter vehicle or other type of passenger transport for the purposes of investigating potential breaches of the Act.

Officers conducting controlled operations will not identify themselves as authorised officers. Evidence gathered during a controlled operation may be used in any subsequent prosecution.

Accessing camera recordings

DoT Education and Compliance Officers and WA Police Officers have the authority to access Camera Surveillance Unit recordings

Service providers have a responsibility to provide copies of recordings from any of their vehicles. This includes charter, tourism, regular passenger transport and taxi vehicles. 

Rules about the use of recordings apply to any device which records audio or visual recordings inside a passenger transport vehicle. These rules are outlined in the Regulations. 

Accessing business records

Investigators have the power to request production of documents that might be relevant to an investigation.

This includes records held by third party organisations such as an operator’s telecommunications company, bank or EFTPOS terminal provider. 

Surveillance

If necessary, officers conduct surveillance activities in support of an investigation.

External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2019

  Enforcement

When officers suspect an offence, a range of tools are available to ensure that the offence is addressed. These include:

  • warning letters;
  • caution notices;
  • infringement notices;
  • prosecution;
  • suspension or cancellation of authorisations; and
  • improvement and defect notices.

These tools are applied in accordance with internal procedures and DoT’s Enforcement and Prosecution Policy. 

Warning letters

Warning letters may be issued when an Officer has identified a person who may be committing a low risk offence but may not understand their obligations. 

The letter will inform the person of their obligations and provide guidance on how to address any issues.

These letters are recorded and may be used to inform officers’ actions in response to any future information about the person.  

If you receive a warning letter you should take the matter seriously and take action to ensure that you are complying with the Act and Regulations. 

Improvement and defect notices

Improvement and defect notices are issued to a person requiring that they take action to rectify an issue. 

If the notice is not complied with, an offence may be committed that could result in an infringement, prosecution or suspension/cancellation of an authorisation. 

These notices may restrict the operation of a driver, vehicle or service provider until the issue is fixed. 

Caution notices

Caution notices are issued when officers have identified offences that do not warrant infringement or prosecution.

These notices are kept on record and are used to inform officers’ actions in response to any future information about the person.

If you receive a caution notice you should take the matter seriously and take action to ensure that no further offences occur. 

Infringement notices

Infringements notices are formal legal documents issued when an offence has been identified but where the circumstances do not warrant prosecution. 

If you receive an infringement, you can choose to:

  • pay the penalty;
  • request that DoT reviews the decision to issue the notice; or
  • choose for the matter to be heard in court.

You should also take action to ensure that any offence committed is not repeated. 

Financial penalties for infringements are prescribed in the Regulations. 

Prosecution

For more serious offences, DoT may choose to initiate a prosecution. 

If found guilty, the magistrate will apply a financial penalty that is no more than the maximum provided by the Act or Regulations. 

Suspension and cancellation of authorisation

When justified, DoT can suspend or cancel a driver, vehicle, on-demand booking service or regular passenger transport authorisation. 

In some instances, the suspension or cancellation of an authorisation is controlled by disqualification offence regulations which make the suspension or cancellation mandatory. 

In all other instances, the suspension or cancelation is a decision of a DoT officer. These decisions can be reviewed by the State Administrative Tribunal. 

External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2019

 

Page last updated: Wed Oct 16 2019 10:22:23 AM