TSC announces changes to vehicle age limits and specifications

Jul 29 2016

The TSC has today gazette changes to taxi-cab vehicle specifications which were explored as part of the recent RIS on changes to taxi-cab regulations.  The broader regulation review is still ongoing. The TSC website states that “it is expected that 'new' Regulations with more significant changes will be made within the next 6-12 months.”

In summary, the changes announced today effectively remove the existing taxi-cab vehicle specifications and introduce a new specification which relates only to wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) vehicles. They are described in more detail below.

Vehicle age limits

Effective 29 July 2016, the TSC has determined that taxi and hire car age limits will no longer apply.  Vehicle age limits no longer apply to all taxis, including WATs, operating in all zones (metropolitan, urban, regional and country) and all hire cars operating in the metropolitan and country zones. The 2.5 year entry age limit has also been removed on all taxis and hire cars.

To understand what has been removed, the old taxi-cab vehicle specification is available here: Old taxi-cab vehicle specification.

This decision is based on research undertaken by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) to assess whether existing taxi and hire car age limits are appropriate and the implications between the age limits and vehicle safety.  MUARC's research found that there was no clear correlation between the age of a vehicle and its crash risk. As a result, age limits for all taxi-cabs and hire cars are being removed.  The MUARC can be found on the TSC website here.

Despite the removal of age limits, taxi and hire car operators are responsible for ensuring that vehicles are maintained in a safe and roadworthy condition at all times.  Existing regulations about vehicle inspections remain unchanged.  Requirements in respect of livery, security cameras and taximeters still apply. 

Specifications for WATs

Effective from 29 July 2016, specifications for taxi-cabs will only apply to WATs. The new WAT vehicle specification is available here (New WAT vehicle specifications - 29 July 16) or can be found in the Government Gazette notice on the TSC website here.

These specifications relate primarily to the wheelchair and occupant restraint systems, and the allocated floor space for wheelchairs as set out in the Federal Government's Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT).  In the case of vehicles being converted to carry wheelchairs, a VASS report is still required.to confirm that the vehicle continues to meet the Australian Design Rules and other standards.

The VTA support these efforts to reduce the amount of regulation on taxi-cab operators and give greater scope for those running taxi businesses to make their own decisions about the vehicles they use.  The removal also amounts to a reduction in regulatory duplication.

A list of Q&As about the changes is available on the TSC website here.

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