Should new taxi drivers have to take an English test?

A sat-nav exam and a dress code are among the other proposals the public is being asked to considered

Should new taxi drivers have to take an English test?

Image: RollingNews.ie

An English test for new taxi drivers is among a set of potential new regulations for the industry that are being considered.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is also asking the public about proposals such as making drivers have a dress-code and a medical exam.

They may also ask people to take a test to prove they can use a sat-nav before getting their licence.

A public consultation on these and other proposals is currently being carried out by the NTA.

The questionnaire asks if people believe a dedicated test for taxi, limo & hackney drivers is necessary, or whether a standard driving licence, confirmation of tax clearance and Garda vetting is sufficient.

One of the more specific questions asks: "Should there be a practical language test as part of the entry test to test a candidate’s communication ability in English?"

Respondents are also being asked if there should be "a module on professional customer service as part of an entry test?"

The review is looking at how the taxi system is regulated around the world and coming up with suggestions for how we could do it better.

The NTA says that the goal of regulation "is to ensure that passengers have a safe vehicle for their journey, with appropriate insurance in place, driven by a driver who has been vetted by An Garda Síochána".

Any drivers currently looking to enter the industry have to pass an entry test, which tests an applicant’s "knowledge of the small public service vehicle industry and the applicant’s geographical knowledge of the county that the applicant wishes to operate in".

You can find out more details about the public consultation on the NTA website. Submissions are being accepted until November 30th.