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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

With the increasing popularity of some social media-based taxi schemes in Dunedin, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reminding Dunedin taxi users to prioritise their safety before accepting a cheap fare home after a night out.

Regulated taxi drivers must hold a Small Passenger Service (SPS) Licence, which gives the holders the legal right to carry passengers for money, subject to conditions.

Crucially, these taxi drivers have to pass a Police vetting process before they can receive their SPS licence.  This can provide some reassurance to the public that the licensed driver taking you home has passed the “fit and proper” test.  

“We know many people use the Dunedin Sober Drivers Facebook page for often late night/ early morning journeys but many these drivers have not passed the all-important vetting process or have a safe vehicle,” says Kelvin Lloyd, Compliance Manager Waka Kotahi.

“What we’d like people to be aware of is that they need to check all those safety systems are in place, before they commit to the ride.

“Is the person who they say they are – check their ID. Do they have a Small Passenger Service licence and a Certificate of Fitness displayed on the vehicle?” 

“Using a taxi, Uber or other small passenger service is a great alternative to drink driving,” says Superintendent Steve Greally, Director National Road Policing Centre. “But at the end of the night, be careful not to get into an illegally operating SPS. If they aren’t properly licenced don’t get in. Having a licence means the driver and their car are safe.”

Anyone who does not have this should not be offering ride share services, says Mr Lloyd.

Police and Waka Kotahi are advising anyone wanting a safe ride home to:

  • Keep safe by staying together, don’t let your friends go off alone.
  • Share a ride home, just make sure it is a licenced, safe operator.
  • Check if the driver’s photo ID, SPS and CoF (Certificate of Fitness) is visible.
  • Agree on a price before you get in. They must also give you a receipt.
  • Make sure your phone is charged before heading out so that you can keep in touch with friends and family throughout your ride home.
  • Share these messages to your friends so they know their rights and can be safe at night and after parties.

Know your rights

Using a passenger service

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