Licences to drive taxis restricted

PROSPECTIVE taxi drivers will face tougher restrictions when applying for driver authorisation in Queensland.

The new restrictions ensure driver authorisations will no longer be issued to applicants until they are 20 years old and have held an Australian driver’s licence for one year.

Previously, applicants only had to have an open driver’s licence.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the changes would address the issue of taxi drivers fresh from overseas driving inappropriately for Australian conditions.

The measure is one of several reforms of the taxi industry initiated for consultation earlier this year.

Other reforms include improvements to driver training standards and increased surveillance to ensure drivers and operators comply with regulations.

Ms Nolan said the reforms would be monitored to ensure they improved the quality of service.

The reforms are not retrospective and will not affect drivers already in the industry.

Drivers will also be tested independently for English language skills in July 2010.

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