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 driver’s licence. 

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

External Link Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020
Opens in a new window Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018

  Maintaining a PTD authorisation: medicals and NPC

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).

How will I know when to get a medical assessment? 

You will receive a medical assessment notice about 12 weeks before your existing medical assessment is due to expire. If you hold a PTD authorisation, you can also view your medical due date in your DoTDirect account. 

Your doctor may submit your medical assessment to DoT or you may upload a copy via DoTDirect. When DoT receives your new medical it is assessed against the Austroads fitness to drive standards. This may mean that the medical period assigned to you by DoT is different to what your doctor recommends. 

Can I check when my next medical assessment is due? 

Yes. If you have a PTD authorisation, there are two ways that you can check your next medical assessment due date.

  1. Checking your PTD authorisation document – when your PTD authorisation is granted DoT email this document to you. The PTD authorisation document shows your next medical assessment due date. 
     
  2. Log into your DoTDirect account, select On-demand Transport at the top of the page. Click "Passenger transport drivers", then "Authorisations in force". Then click the PTD authorisation; your next medical assessment due date will be listed here. 

If you have an F or T extension (and do not hold a PTD authorisation), your next medical due date will likely align with your driver’s licence renewal – the renewal date for your driver’s licence is shown in your DoTDirect account. Alternatively, you can call Department of Transport on 13 11 56 to ask when your next medical assessment is due. 

I previously had an F or T extension. Why is my medical due date different now that I have a PTD authorisation?

To maintain the previous F and T driver’s licence extensions, medical assessments were required more frequently once a driver turned 45. 

As this is no longer the case with passenger transport driver (PTD) authorisations, many drivers may now find that their medical assessment due date does not align with their drivers licence or PTD authorisation due date. 

Opens in a new window Austroads: National standards for assessing a person's fitness to drive

  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 driver’s licence.

On-demand charter PTVs (includes rideshare)

For drivers of on-demand charter PTVs who have been granted a PTD authorisation, the driver identity information must contain:

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

For drivers of on-demand charter PTVs who hold an F or T extension (i.e. they have not applied for or been granted a PTD authorisation), the driver identity information 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.

On-demand rank or hail PTVs (taxis)

For drivers of on-demand rank or hail (taxi) PTVs who have been granted a PTD authorisation, the driver ID document must contain:

  • a photograph of the driver;
  • their first name (as it appears on their driver’s licence); and
  • the PTD authorisation number (for existing taxi drivers, this will be the same as the taxi driver ID number).

For drivers of on-demand rank or hail (taxi) PTVs who hold a T extension (i.e. they have not applied for or been granted a PTD authorisation), the driver identity information must contain:

  • a photograph of the driver;
  • their first name (as it appears on their driver’s 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.

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).

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 driver’s 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).

How to apply for a new or replacement taxi driver ID card

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

To apply for a new or replacement taxi driver ID card, please complete form ODT 133: Application for a taxi driver identification card and submit to On-demand Transport with all required supporting documentation.

ODT_F_App_TaxiDriverIDCardODT133.pdf icon Application for a Taxi Driver Identification Card (Form ODT 133) Kb

  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.

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 (drivers)

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

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 can be reported through the driver’s DoTDirect account. Visit OdT industry portals to find out more about notifiable occurrences and how to report them to DoT.

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.

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

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

The WA Department of Health has released infection prevention and control information for public and private transport – this includes on-demand transport operators like taxis, rideshare and charter. 

On-demand booking services (ODBSs) 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. ODBSs should update their safety management systems to ensure they have the necessary steps in place to minimise risk to drivers and passengers.

General advice for drivers

On-demand transport drivers are advised to:

  • Not attend work if feeling unwell, including cold or flu symptoms.
  • Perform regular hand hygiene throughout shifts. For example, at the start and end of shifts, before and after meals and after using the toilet you should wash hands with soap and water then dry hands thoroughly or use an alcohol-based sanitiser.
  • Thoroughly clean vehicles with detergent and disinfectant cleaning products/wipes – include all surfaces and pay particular attention to high touch surfaces such as handles, rails and buttons.
  • Have a scheduled shampoo/steam cleaning program for vehicles with fabric seating.
  • Members of the public who are suspected or known cases of COVID-19, are currently in self-quarantine after returning to WA from travel outside of the state, or who are undergoing COVID-19 testing should not be using public transport (including on-demand transport). 

Physical distancing in on-demand transport

Physical distancing (ensuring there is space between you and others) is an effective way of reducing transmission of infections. Although on-demand and other passenger transport is exempt from physical distancing recommendations, drivers and passengers are still encouraged to maintain physical distancing where possible.

Transporting known/suspected cases of COVID-19 and people under self-quarantine

Private vehicles, hospital transport or a Department of Health organised transport option should be provided for patients who are required to travel from hospital to their home/hotel or hotel to home. 

On-demand transport services can be used as a last resort for transportation of people with positive COVID-19 cases and those in quarantine or required to self-quarantine.

If an on-demand transport service is used for this purpose, the following measures should be observed:

  • A large vehicle should be chosen where available to provide adequate space between the driver and the passenger – the passenger should sit as far away from the driver as possible.
  • The driver should wear a surgical mask and take care not to touch the front of the mask once it is securely in place.
  • The passenger is to wear a surgical mask.
  • The passenger is to handle their own luggage and belongings wherever possible. If assistance is required, the driver should wear gloves. The gloves should be removed immediately after assisting with luggage and the driver should perform thorough hand hygiene.
  • The passenger is to perform hand hygiene before entering the vehicle.
  • Encourage the passenger to use contactless payment options.
  • Set vehicle ventilation systems to “fresh air” and open the windows slightly if appropriate.
  • At the end of the journey, the driver must thoroughly clean the vehicle with detergent and disinfectant cleaning products/wipes – include all surfaces and pay particular attention to high touch surfaces such as handles, seatbelts and seats. The driver should dispose of any PPE and disposable cleaning equipment, then perform thorough hand hygiene.

For more information, read the Infection prevention and control information for public and private transport fact sheet available via the WA Department of Health website.

Visit the WA Government's COVID-19 (coronavirus) website for up to date information about COVID-19.

External Link WA Department of Health: COVID-19 information for business, industry and local government
External Link WA Government COVID-19 (coronavirus) website

 

Page last updated: Tue Sep 29 2020 10:01:21 AM