The New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has put controversial ride-sharing giant Uber on notice, issuing 40 suspension notices against offending drivers.
RMS Director of Safety and Compliance Peter Wells said ride-sharing services were illegal and the Government was cracking down on those allowing their vehicles to be used.
“Taxi and hire car services in NSW must be provided by an operator accredited by Roads and Maritime, in a licensed and insured vehicle which is driven by an authorised driver,” Mr Wells said.
“Thousands of dollars in fines have already been issued to drivers offering illegal ride-sharing activities and compliance actions will continue.
“If drivers continue to offer illegal ride sharing services – they will continue to risk registration suspensions and fines.”
Mr Wells said 40 drivers have already been issued with suspension notices.
“The vehicle suspensions will take effect from midnight 30 September and will be in place for three months.
“The suspension notices have been issued to registered owners of vehicles found to be operating a privately registered vehicle for business purposes.
“If a suspended vehicle is found on the road after 1 October, the vehicle is deemed unregistered and uninsured, with penalties of $637 for each offence, increasing to around $2,200 if heard in court.”
An Uber spokesperson told the ABC the RMS was denying drivers due process and the company is reviewing its legal options to reverse the decision.
“The people of Sydney are choosing Uber in their hundreds of thousands and we look forward to seeing the Government recognise this by putting sensible ride-sharing regulations in place as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.
In a statement, The NSW Taxi Council said it “welcomes the announcement by RMS that it will enforce the law to crack down on illegal ride-sharing.”
“The Taxi Industry meanwhile will continue to focus on safe, reliable transport and good customer service,” the statement reads.
The NSW Government has established an independent taskforce to examine the future of the taxi and hire car industry.
Premier Mike Baird said “We’re waiting for that review to be completed and obviously we will be responding appropriately.
“But at the moment the status quo is the status quo and that’s what we expect participants to abide by.”