Transport for NSW has reminded taxi drivers in the state that as of January 14, they will now be required to ‘clip every trip’.
While seatbelts have been compulsory in NSW since 1971, taxi drivers have been exempt until this week. They will now be required to buckle up like most other drivers.
“Seatbelts have a proven record saving lives and we want taxi drivers to be just as safe behind the wheel as all other motorists,” said a Transport for NSW spokesperson in a statement.
The spokesperson said that though less than two per cent of NSW motorists injured in a crash are not secured by a seatbelt, that figure rises to 40 per cent among taxi drivers.
According to Transport for NSW, making it compulsory for taxi drivers to belt up could mean that one person less a week suffers an injury while working.
It is also noted that passengers will be safer when the driver is wearing a seatbelt, as in the event of a crash impacting the vehicle on the driver’s side, an unsecured driver can be thrown from their seat around the vehicle, injuring passengers.
The NSW Taxi Council released a statement in support of the law change.
Acting chief executive officer John Bowe said that the Taxi Council had consulted extensively with taxi drivers, in conjunction with the NSW government, as part of the review process.
It found that previous concerns about the security of drivers had been replaced by the higher priority of being safe on the roads.
Drivers found not wearing a seatbelt will be penalised with a $298 fine and three demerit points, with double demerits applicable in double demerit enforcement periods.
If you drive a taxi in NSW, you may not be aware of taxi drivers accident entitlements.
In the event of an injury suffered in an accident – even if the accident was partly your fault – as a taxi driver you are in a unique position.
This is because as well has being a driver you are also a worker performing your occupational duties.
As a result, your case will be subject to both the motor accident compensation scheme and the workers compensation scheme.
This can be a complex matter, which is why talking to compensation lawyers in Sydney is a great idea.
Their expert advice can help you ascertain whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.