Passenger transport driver responsibilities
COVID-19: Health and safety for passenger transport operators
We know there is a lot of industry concern about drivers’ health and safety during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The WA Department of Health has a fact sheet online (see below) that provides advice to drivers of public transport – this includes on-demand transport drivers.
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.
- 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.
|WA Department of Health website|
|WA Department of Health: Information for Public Transport fact sheet|
Important notes for vehicle owners
This section covers information for drivers of taxis, charter and regular passenger transport (RPT) vehicles. 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 operate and drive fare paying passengers for hire and reward, you must have the correct driver's licence. The two driver's licence extensions are:
- F (charter) extension: A charter (bus) driver's or charter vehicle licence which allows a driver to carry passengers for hire or reward.
- T (taxi) extension: A taxi driver's licence which allows a driver to carry passengers for hire or reward in an on-demand rank or hail vehicle.
From mid-2020, F and T extensions will be replaced by a single new Passenger Transport Driver authorisation.
Visit Apply for a taxi or bus driver’s licence to find out more information about driver authorisation.
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2019|
|Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018|
Drivers of Passenger Transport Vehicles (PTVs) are required to have a driver ID document that is visible to the hirer at the time of booking, or display it in the vehicle/on person.
A driver ID document is different to a driver’s licence:
- For drivers of On-demand Charter (OD-C) PTVs, the driver ID document must contain a photograph of the driver and their first name. 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 (OD-RH) PTVs (taxis), the driver ID document must contain a photograph of the driver, their first name and their driver ID number. Existing taxi driver ID cards meet these requirements.
All driver ID documents must contain a photograph which 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);
- have dimensions no less than 4cm wide and 4cm high; and
- be no more than 5 years old.
The image must:
- clearly depict the face looking directly at the camera and not tilted in any direction;
- clearly depict the edges of the face;
- not include anything that obscures any part of the face, whilst acknowledging that head coverings and glasses may be worn;
- have both eyes open; and
- clearly depict a neutral expression (not smiling, laughing or frowning).
In addition, the first name of the driver must appear as it appears on the driver’s licence issued to the driver under the Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2014. The letters must be printed in a legible format and at a minimum 1cm in width and 1cm in height.
Taxi driver IDs must also carry the driver’s identification number as issued by Department of Transport (i.e. on the taxi driver ID card) and the must not contain any characters other than English language numerals. The numerals must be printed in a legible format at a minimum 1cm in width and 1cm in height.
Current taxi driver IDs meet the above requirements – DoT will continue to create taxi driver ID cards until mid-2020 when new Passenger Transport Driver authorisations come into place.
|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 – 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 – 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.
|Road Safety Commission|
|Road Safety Commission: Safety topics|
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:
- Not enough sleep.
- Driving when you would normally be asleep.
- 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
|Code of practice: Fatigue management for commercial vehicle drivers (DMIRS)|
|Commercial vehicle driver fatigue management training (DMIRS)|
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.
|Notifiable occurrences report (Form ODT121)||Kb|
As the driver of a vehicle, you may be required to keep the following records under the direction of the 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 (driver's licence extension and driver's licence status).
- Fatigue management program.
You can keep these records in electronic or hard copy format.