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Safety must be a priority: Barton says stop touting now

Aug 13, 2019 | Media Releases

Touting and unaccredited drivers in the commercial passenger vehicle industry are ticking time bombs that must be stopped says Transport Matters Party leader Rod Barton.

Today Mr Barton will introduce his Private Members Bill the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Amendment Bill 2019, which will reinstate offences for touting, with fines of up to $8000 for each offence, and extend enforcement powers to include Victoria Police.

“We have continually asked the Government for action on touting and nothing has happened. The regulator is dragging its heals, and so it’s time we forced them to fix it or convince us that the behaviour we’re seeing is okay, ” Mr Barton said

“Safety must be the priority.”

Deregulation of the taxi and hire car industry in 2017 made touting legal again and removed many other safety measures previously enforced by the regulator.

“Uber played the Andrews Labor Government off a break when they arrived in Victoria – nowhere else in the world has legislation been tossed to make it easy for rideshare operators.

“The reforms and Uber’s model have created a culture of cheap, where it’s okay to get into an unmarked vehicle with no cameras, poor insurance and no common safety standards on the cars,” he said.

Reports this week of rideshare drivers “renting” accounts showed that these companies had no way of managing screening processes or ensuring these accredited account holders were actually the same people driving the car.

“This is a ticking time bomb. I ask the Ministers responsible if they’re comfortable putting their sons and daughters into touters cars, or letting them travel in unmarked and unidentifiable vehicles.”

Mr Barton spearheaded the call for a parliamentary inquiry into the CPV Reforms in February, and raised then the problem of touting and his concerns about the safety of passengers. That inquiry is due to present its findings in October.



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