Passenger transport driver responsibilities
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 driverís 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 driverís 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 driverís 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 driverís 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 Ė 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
By law, all drivers and passengers must wear seat belts on every trip, long or short, if they are required to be fitted in the vehicle.
Seat belts for drivers
All drivers must wear a seatbelt unless they are:
- Reversing the vehicle.
- In possession of a medical certificate authorising exemption this must be carried with the driver at all times.
- A taxi driver carrying 1 or more paying passengers after dark.
Seat belts for passengers - overview
Drivers of taxis and omnibuses should endeavour to ensure that all passengers are appropriately restrained.
Under Road Safety Commission regulations, from 27 June 2018 taxi and omnibus drivers:
- Must ensure that children aged between 1 and 7 years must be restrained in standard seatbelts that are properly adjusted and securely fastened to the best extent possible given the height and weight of the passengers; and
- Have a new responsibility for ensuring passengers aged between 1 and 7 are restrained as safely as possible - previously drivers have been exempt from this responsibility.
Taxi and omnibus drivers are now liable to be penalised if the above responsibilities are not met. Responsibility for safe restraint of children aged under 1 year remains with the caregiver.
For more information on the regulation updates, visit the Road Safety Commission Safety Topics Children website.
Seat belts for passengers - adult and children
- Over 16 years of age wear a seatbelt that is securely and properly fastened.
- Aged 0 to 6 months are restrained in a rearward facing child restraint (e.g. infant capsule).
- Aged 6 months to under 4 years are restrained in either a rearward or forward facing child restraint with in-built harness
- Aged 4 to under 7 years are restrained in either a forward-facing child restraint or booster seat restrained by a correctly adjusted and fastened seat belt or child safety harness.
- Aged 7 to 16 years are either in a booster seat with lap sash seatbelt or a seatbelt.
- Aged under 7 years must not be in the front row of seats, if the vehicle has two or more rows of seats.
- Aged between 4 and 7 years can travel in the front seat if all other rear seats are filled with passengers aged under 7
If there is no child restraint available for passengers, children under 7 years may be carried:
- A child aged 1 year to 7 years must be in a seatbelt.
- A child under 1 year may be carried in the lap of a caregiver who is over 16 years of age provided they are not in the front row of seats, if the vehicle has more than one row of seats.
For more information on seat belts, see the Road Safety Commission's website.
|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.