More than 90,000 taxi checks carried out last year

Checks were carried out on more than 90% of the country's taxis

Taxi, National transport authority, security cameras,

Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Rolling News

The National Transport Authority (NTA) carried out more than 90,000 taxi checks last year - triple the number carried out in 2015.

According to the authority, checks were carried out on more than 90% of the country's 20,800 taxis over the course of the year - indicating that many vehicles were checked multiple times.

The 'dramatic increase' in checks is being attributed to an app which allows officers to check the status of the driver and vehicle licence in real time.

Detailed 'face to face audits' were undertaken after 12,012 of the initial tests, and a total of 1,099 fixed penalty notices were issued in 2016 for a variety of offences (such as failure to display required identification, or incorrect taxi meter operation).

The authority also says there has been a significant increase in the number of wheelchair accessible taxis - up to 1254 last year (or 6% of all taxis), compared to 916 in 2013.

The NTA revealed earlier this year that they had received just under 1,000 complaints about taxis last year.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, said: “There is no doubt that the vast majority of taxi passengers enjoy a pleasant trip delivered by a professional, courteous driver. However, if a passenger feels that something could have gone better in their journey, we urge them to let us know about it, to let us tackle it.

“We strongly encourage people to use our free Driver Check App, to verify for themselves that the vehicle that they are about to hire has been correctly registered and that the driver has the appropriate licence. A private record of each journey taken can also be kept."