Five star ANCAP vehicle safety ratings should be a minimum standard for all commercial passenger vehicles (CPV) according to Eastern Metro MP and Transport Matters Party leader Rod Barton.
Uber announced this week a move to ensure all vehicles using its booking service meet a five star ANCAP safety rating.
“The Commercial Passengers Vehicle Association (CPVAA) took a submission to Transport for Victoria 2 years ago and recommended that a five star safety rating be a condition for all new commercial passenger vehicles in Victoria,” said Mr Barton.
“We asked that CPVs also be required to produce a current road worthy certificate when applying and renewing their CPV licence and hold proper commercial passenger vehicle insurance, but Transport for Victoria rejected these safety recommendations back then.”
Mr Barton said it was encouraging to see Uber begin to take safety seriously and adopt these commonsense rules in their fleets.
“Safety is not a game. This is not about winning the race to offer the cheapest rides or destroy an incumbent industry. This is about who is taking you home at night, who is taking your daughter or son home? Is it safe?
“We’ve had a turbulent few years as the CPV industry has exploded following deregulation. I believe it’s created an unsafe environment with vehicles on the roads that don’t always meet the industry safety standards or meet customers expectations.
Mr Barton asked the Minister for Transport Melissa Horne to review the CPV licensing requirements in March, requesting her to reconsider and make a current road worthy certificate and commercial vehicle passenger insurance compulsory for all drivers applying for and or renewing their commercial passenger vehicle licenses.
“As the new landscape for point-to-point transport services evolves in Australia regulators and operators have an obligation to work together to insure the industry grows into responsible and sustainable industry offering safe and reliable services to the public.
“Safety should never be negotiated away. It is not a barrier to entry, but a cost of doing business.
“When something goes wrong we want those travelling to know that the regulator and operators have done everything possible to ensure their safety, and that there are proper insurances in place to cover any immediate and ongoing needs.”