Taxi complaints: ‘Small number’ of drivers letting the rest down

Some 1,800 complaints were made against taxi drivers in Ireland in 2023.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

14.41 30 Jan 2024

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Taxi complaints: ‘Small number...

Taxi complaints: ‘Small number’ of drivers letting the rest down

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

14.41 30 Jan 2024

Share this article

A “small number” of taxi drivers are letting the rest down, according to an industry spokesperson.

It comes as a record 1,800 complaints were made against taxis to the National Transport Authority last year.

Among the complaints were a driver who smoked with a passenger in the car and another who refused to allow a guide dog on board.


On The Pat Kenny Show today, spokesperson for the National Private Hire & Taxi Association (NPHTA), Jim Waldron, said he was “obviously disappointed” with the findings.

“Any complaint about a taxi driver lets us all down,” he said.

“But at the same time, there are 20 million journeys done every year and it’s a small number of drivers letting us down.

“If there are repeat offenders, they need to be dealt with more severely.

“If a driver at the moment is hit with a penalty it’s €100 to €250, so it’s a steep fine and I think you would learn your lesson very quickly.”

Credit cards

Mr Waldron said not accepting credit cards is a common complaint from passengers every year.

“You’re obliged by law to take credit card payments, so you have to take credit card payments,” he said.

“There are times though, I have to say, that credit card machines let people down and I would ask people to be patient with drivers if they know them.

“It has happened to me myself personally that a machine let me down and thankfully the passenger was very understanding.”

Mr Waldron said he can not defend the 326 complaints made in relation to the conduct and behaviour of taxi drivers.

“Aggressive behaviour from any taxi driver is not acceptable,” he said.

“Sometimes you might be talking about members of the public who have drink taken and their perception of the incident might be different through the eyes of drugs and alcohol.

“I can’t explain bad behaviour from anybody, professionalism is what we [NPHTA] call for in all our colleagues.”


It has become difficult to identify whether some passengers are intoxicated or not, according to Mr Waldron.

“If people enter the car, they can look drunk and you can make an assessment fairly quickly but people on drugs sometimes don’t look drunk,” he said.

“The playing field that we had been used to has changed because we can’t tell sometimes.

“We had an incident recently where a passenger grabbed the steering wheel in the middle of the journey and almost ran down two ladies.”

Mr Waldron said refusing a guide dog was “shocking,” while also condemning smoking while a passenger was in the vehicle.

“Taxi drivers do smoke but they shouldn’t be smoking in operation,” he said.

“It’s not acceptable and most of these guys have learned by getting a good air freshener or getting outside of their car when smoking.”

You can listen back here:

Main image: A row of taxis driving. Image: David Jackson/Alamy

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Jim Waldron National Private Hire & Taxi Association National Transport Authority Taxi Complaints Taxis The Pat Kenny Show

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