A joint operation carried out by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Police on Saturday night to check the safety and operator compliance of taxis in Hamilton has yielded some disappointing results.
Operation Double Trouble included members of the Hamilton Police, the NZTA’s passenger service unit, local transport officers and the Inland Revenue Department. Police pulled over approximately 30 taxis and directed them to an inspection facility where NZTA staff checked the vehicles.
Six taxis were issued ‘pink stickers’ and ordered off the road immediately after the safety inspections identified them as being unroadworthy. The faults included insecure body panels and serious issues with steering, lighting, oil leaks and seat belts. One of the unroadworthy taxis had a wheel nut missing and another had its lights jammed on high beam.
A further five taxis were ‘green stickered’ and ordered to be driven directly home or to a place of repair along a pre-determined route and at a set speed. These non-compliances included safety issues such as worn tyres, oil leaks and faulty steering, brakes and lighting.
Approximately 10 other taxis were issued ‘Green 2’ stickers for less critical issues such as oil leaks, cracks in tail light covers, broken number plates lights etc. These taxis were allowed to continue on the road but must present the NZTA with evidence of repairs within five days.
NZTA Regional Manager of Access and Use David Pearks says the operation is part of the NZTA’s role to ensure taxis are safe and legal.
“The Hamilton results were quite disappointing. A similar operation in Tauranga on Friday night showed evidence that overall taxi safety standards and compliance levels were improving in Tauranga and we anticipated similar results in Hamilton. Unfortunately the quality of the Hamilton taxis was not what we expected and suggested that the taxis are not being maintained throughout the year,” says Mr Pearks.
Mr Pearks says the NZTA will be doing all they can to support improved taxi standards and compliance in Hamilton.