COVID-19: Updates on Department of Transport services

Passenger transport driver responsibilities

Passenger transport drivers have a range of responsibilities depending on the type of passenger transport they are providing. Read this page for more details.

  Important notes for vehicle owners

This section covers information for passenger transport drivers. If you are the owner of your vehicle, please also refer to the Passenger transport vehicles section for information on PTV requirements and authorisation.

  Legislation and driver authorisation

Participants in the passenger transport industry are regulated under the Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 and associated regulations.

To legally drive passengers for hire and reward, you must have: 

  • a passenger transport driver (PTD) authorisation (or an F or T extension until 30 June 2021); and
  • the correct class of driverís licence. 

Visit What are passenger transport driver authorisations to find out more information.

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

  Maintaining a PTD authorisation

To maintain a PTD authorisation, you will need to:

  • pay the annual authorisation fees when the PTD authorisation is up for renewal;
  • provide a new NPC every five years; and
  • undergo a medical assessment on an ongoing basis at an interval dependent on your individual medical assessment (up to five years).

  Safety duties for passenger transport drivers

A chain of accountability framework applies for the passenger transport industry in WA. The Act defines roles for those involved in each level of the industry and sets out their obligations and responsibilities, particularly in relation to the health and safety of passengers, drivers and the public. 

When driving for hire or reward, a passenger transport driver must:

  • ensure their own health and safety; 
  • ensure that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of others; 
  • comply with any reasonable instruction given by an ODBS or PTV provider, to allow them to comply with the Act; and
  • cooperate with any reasonable health and safety policy or procedure of the ODBS or PTV provider.

For further information about safety duties, visit the Safety for industry page.

  Driver identification

Drivers of on-demand rank or hail (taxi) or on-demand charter passenger transport vehicles (PTVs) are required to have driver identity information that is visible to the hirer at the time of booking, or display it in the vehicle/on person.

These requirements do not apply to drivers for regular passenger transport, tourism passenger transport, community or courtesy services.

What to include

Driver identity information is different to a driverís licence. For drivers of on-demand charter PTVs, the driver identity information must contain:

  • a photograph of the driver; and 
  • their first name (as it appears on their driverís licence). 

These requirements may already be met, for example by driver profiles displayed to customers by app-based booking services.

For drivers of on-demand rank or hail (taxi) PTVs (taxis), a driver ID document must contain:

  • a photograph of the driver;
  • their first name (as it appears on their driverís licence); and 
  • their driver ID number (must not contain any characters other than English language numerals).

Any printed driver identity information must be legible, with letters a minimum 1cm in widith and 1cm in height.

Existing taxi driver ID cards meet these requirements.

To apply for a new or replacement taxi driver ID card, please complete form ODT 31: Application for a taxi driver identification card and submit to On-demand Transport with all required supporting documentation.

ODT_F_App_TaxiDriverIDCardODT31.pdf icon Application for a Taxi Driver Identification Card (Form ODT 31) Kb

Photograph requirements

Driver photographs must:

  • be a good quality, colour gloss print;
  • be a clear, focused image with no marks or 'red eye';
  • have a plain white or light grey background;
  • have uniform lighting (show no shadows or reflections);
  • be at least 4cm wide and 4cm high; and
  • be no more than 5 years old.

The photograph must be clear, meaning:

  • the driverís full face, including the edges of the face, is clearly shown looking directly at the camera;
  • anything that obscures a part of the face is not included (head coverings and glasses may be worn);
  • both eyes are open; and
  • the driver has a neutral expression (not smiling, laughing or frowning).

Changes from 1 July 2020 

Passenger transport driver (PTD) authorisations will commence in July 2020. When a person is granted a PTD authorisation, they will be given a PTD authorisation number.

For drivers of on-demand charter PTVs, the driver identity information must contain:

  • a photograph of the driver;
  • their first name; and 
  • the PTD authorisation number. 

This information can be displayed either at the time of booking (e.g. in an app), in the vehicle or on your person. For drivers of on-demand rank or hail (taxi) PTVs, the driver ID document must contain;

  • a photograph of the driver;
  • their first name; and 
  • their PTD authorisation number. 

Existing taxi driver ID cards will continue to be valid.

If you currently hold a taxi driver ID card and a T extension, your PTD authorisation number will be the same as your taxi driver ID number. 

If you currently hold an F extension, your PTD authorisation number will be 5 or 6 digits long (e.g. 89000 or 890000).

If you are a new PTD applicant (i.e. you do not currently hold an F or T extension) then your PTD authorisation number will be 6 digits long (e.g. 122000).

When you are granted a PTD authorisation, a new driverís licence card will not be issued.

Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2014

  Seat belt laws and child restraint laws

Unless otherwise exempted, seatbelts and child restraints must be used when travelling in passenger transport vehicles. This includes any vehicle used or intended to be used to provide:

  • on-demand charter services;
  • on-demand rank or hail services;
  • regular passenger transport services; or
  • tourism passenger transport services.

Seat belts for drivers

All drivers must wear a seatbelt where fitted unless they are:

  • reversing the vehicle; 
  • in possession of a medical certificate authorising exemption Ė  this must be carried with the driver at all time; or 
  • a taxi driver carrying one or more paying passengers after dark.

Seat belts for passengers 

The Road Traffic Code 2000 requires:

  • children aged 0 to 6 months to be restrained in a rearward facing child restraint (e.g. infant capsule);
  • children aged 6 months to under 4 years to be restrained in either a rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint with in-built harness;
  • children aged 4 to under 7 years to be restrained in either a forward-facing child restraint or booster seat, restrained by a correctly adjusted and fastened seat belt or child safety harness;
  • children aged 7 to 16 years to be restrained either in a booster seat with lap sash seatbelt or a seatbelt.; and
  • people over 16 years to be restrained in a seatbelt that is securely and properly fastened.

Children aged under 7 years must not be in the front row of seats, if the vehicle has two or more rows of seats. Children aged between 4 and 7 years can travel in the front seat if all other rear seats are filled with passengers aged under 7yrs.

Passenger transport vehicle driver responsibility for seatbelt wearing of the passengers

Unlike normal drivers, a driver of a passenger transport vehicle (PTV) is not responsible for ensuring that all passengers over 16 years wear a seatbelt.

Drivers of PTVs are also exempt from ensuring passengers under 7 years wear the appropriate child restraint but only if a child restraint is not available in the vehicle.

Where there is no child restraint fitted, PTV drivers must however, ensure that a passenger aged between 1 year and 7 years wears a seatbelt that is properly adjusted and securely fastened to the best extent possible given the height and weight of the child. The child must also not be in the front row of seats if the vehicle has 2 or more rows of seats Ė penalties apply.

A child restraint is considered available if it is fitted to the vehicle and is not already occupied by someone under the age of 16 years.

Opens in a new window Road Safety Commission
Opens in a new window Road Safety Commission: Safety topics

  Fatigue management

Driver fatigue is one of the most significant safety hazards facing the road transport industry world-wide. Crashes are dangerous and costly to all road users, and fatigue is a major contributor.

Fatigue means a gradual loss of alertness that leads to occasional nodding off and then sleep. Fatigue causes drowsy driving. Drowsy drivers are more likely to have a crash by running off the road or having a head-on collision.

Main causes of drowsy driving

The three main causes of drowsy driving are:

  1. Not enough sleep.
  2. Driving when you would normally be asleep.
  3. Working or being awake for very long hours.

Other factors like highway boredom, road conditions and weather compound these causes.

To prevent fatigue related crashes, these factors need to be managed through correct scheduling practices, training and education.

Resources for managing driver fatigue

Driver fatigue is a risk for all drivers and their passengers. For drivers of commercial vehicles (including taxis), it is an occupational hazard which, under occupational safety and health laws, must be managed by a safe system of work.

The Code of Practice for Fatigue Management for Commercial Vehicle Drivers (available on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website) provides guidance on what a safe system should consider.

The Code provides guidance to industry, the authorities and the courts, and provides a defence against prosecution.

A fatigue management training package for commercial vehicle drivers can also be found on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) website

External Link Code of practice: Fatigue management for commercial vehicle drivers (DMIRS)
External Link Commercial vehicle driver fatigue management training (DMIRS)

  Vehicle maintenance

While it is ultimately the responsibility of the vehicle owner to maintain the vehicle, as a driver you are responsible for ensuring the vehicle is maintained throughout the duration of your shift. For example, ensuring tyres have adequate air, lights are working and oil level is correct. Any major issues should be reported to your booking service immediately.

See the Department of Transport's Vehicle maintenance checklist page for further information on how to maintain your vehicle.

  Reporting notifiable occurrences (safety)

All drivers of passenger transport vehicles are required to report all notifiable occurrences they become aware of to DoT.

On-demand Booking Services also have a responsibility to report notifiable occurrences to DoT - see Responsibilities for authorised booking services for further information.

What are notifiable occurrences?

Notifiable occurrences are incidents of a serious nature that involve, or have the potential to result in, injury, violence or abuse of a person.

Notifiable occurrences include:

  • an incident involving the vehicle being used to provide a passenger transport service that must be reported to the police under the Road Traffic Act 1974 section 56;
  • an accident or incident involving a vehicle being used to provide a passenger transport service that results in -
    • an injury that is treated by an ambulance officer; or
    • an injured person being treated at a hospital;
  • a collision involving a vehicle being used to provide a passenger transport service that results in damage to the vehicle that is sufficient to prevent the completion of the journey in that vehicle;
  • a mechanical or other fault in a vehicle being used to provide a passenger transport service that renders the vehicle unsuitable to be used to provide a passenger transport service without substantial or significant mechanical repairs or services;
  • an incident involving a driver or a passenger of a vehicle being used to provide a passenger transport service that results in a complaint to the police involving allegations of -
    • sexual assault; or
    • indecent exposure; or
    • assault; or
    • physical threats or other intimidation;
  • an incident involving the conduct of a driver while driving a vehicle being used to provide a passenger transport service that results in the driver being charged with a serious offence;
  • an incident involving -
    • the misplacement of a visual, audiovisual or audio recording from a camera surveillance unit installed in a passenger transport vehicle; or
    • the use in contravention of regulation 35ZD of a visual, audiovisual or audio recording from a camera surveillance unit fitted in a passenger transport vehicle; or
    • the viewing, downloading, copying, playing, editing or erasing of a visual, audiovisual or audio recording in contravention of regulation 35ZF.

Drivers of passenger transport vehicles are required to report notifiable occurrences to DoT as soon as practicable after they become aware of the notifiable occurrence. Failure to comply with this requirement may attract fines of up to $9,000.

How to report notifiable occurrences

Notifiable occurrences must be reported as soon as practicable after the driver of a passenger transport vehicle or provider of an on-demand booking service becomes aware of such an occurrence.

To report a notifiable occurrence, complete the ODT121: Notifiable Occurrences Report form (below) in English and in legible writing, and submit to On-demand Transport.

ODT_F_ODT121_Notifiable_occurrences_report.pdf icon Notifiable occurrences report (Form ODT121) Kb

  Record keeping

As the driver of an on-demand charter or on-demand rank or hail (taxi) PTV, you may be required to keep the following records under the direction of the on-demand booking service you operate for:

  • Booking details (for each job).
    • Booking ID (to identify jobs).
    • Account/Hirer (customer details).
    • Pick-up and destination addresses.
    • Journey start and end time.
    • Pricing (cost of job).
    • Contract/pre-paid fares (for agreed/arranged jobs between operator and customer).
    • Status (job successful/cancelled).
  • Vehicle details.
    • Vehicle details (example: insurance, registration etc).
    • Vehicle maintenance program.
  • Driver details.
    • Driver's details (name and PTD authorisation number or driver's licence extension and driver's licence status).
    • Fatigue management program.

You can keep these records in electronic or hard copy format.

  COVID-19: Health and safety for passenger transport operators

We know there is a lot of industry concern about driversí health and safety during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Key advice includes:

  • You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy.
  • Vehicles must be cleaned at the end of the shift, or more frequently if required, to maintain good hygiene.
  • In the event of a passenger spreading droplets (such as sneezing, coughing or vomiting), clean surfaces with appropriate disinfectant wipes so that the potential spread of infection can be minimised.
  • Passengers should sit in the back seat of the vehicle if possible.
  • The air-conditioning/heating setting should be set to external airflow, instead of recycled.

Additionally, drivers should follow the advice of their booking service. Booking services should update their Safety Management Systems to ensure they have the necessary steps in place to minimise risk to drivers and passengers.

For the latest information about coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the WA Government's COVID-19 (coronavirus) website.

Social distancing in on-demand transport 

Social distancing is integral to help limit the risk of COVID-19 coronavirus spreading throughout the community.  

The state and federal governments urge everyone to adhere to social distancing measures, including: 

  • reducing all public gatherings, excluding household members, to a maximum of 10 people 
  • minimising all unnecessary contact with others 
  • keeping 1.5 metres away from others. 

While exempt from social distancing rules, booking services have a legislated responsibility to ensure the health and safety of drivers and passengers and may enforce different protocols to do this during this time. 

External Link WA Government COVID-19 (coronavirus) website

 

Page last updated: Thu Jun 25 2020 12:45:33 PM