Taxis go under the microscope

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October 30, 2014 9:32 AM

According to staff, taxis have had an appropriate amount of time to get inspected, and those who haven’t after Thursday’s midnight deadline will face stiff penalties for operating a taxi without proper inspections.

At Monday’s council meeting, the city’s general manager of public safety Doug Rodwell said that on Sept. 23 of last year, the city decided that taxis needed to conduct inspections.

“In September of last year, we conducted a basic inspection of taxis to see where they are at. This year, we started another round of inspections in June,” she said.

Rodwell said the end date was originally Sept. 15.

“At that time, when that date was close, industry told us that they were unable to make that time line,” he said.

“That was an industry failure, not a city failure.”

Rodwell said that after talking to the taxi industry, the city decided to make Oct. 30 a reasonable date to extend too.

At the meeting, Coun. Larry Sauer introduced an amendment to the taxi bylaw, a move that he said was needed since the bylaw was created in 1978.

“Administration was finding that the current policy doesn’t give much leeway into what they can do,” he said.

Sauer said that the taxi companies aren’t complying to the inspections.

“They have to have a provincial inspection, otherwise we can’t do our inspection,” he said.

As of Friday morning, any taxis operating within the city limits without an inspection decal, Rodwell said, will be removed from operations.

“First, we need to discover the taxis operating without the inspection done, once that occurs, we will look at an enforcement strategy,” he said. That strategy could come as a fine to the driver, the taxi operator.

The bylaw that was passed at Monday’s council would set the fine between $1,000 to $5,000 for different offences.

“We will look at that when we are faced with a particular instance,” Rodwell said.

Currently fines range from $10 to $100.

What the city is looking for is the cleanliness of the taxi, or if the taxi has been in an accident since the last inspection.

“We want to make sure that they are compliant with our standards and that the decals are through- out the fleet,” said Rodwell.

Rodwell said that the decals will be located in a spot that will be visible to passengers.

“They are on the front windshield of the vehicle ... the decal is a three-inch long decal by inch wide, and has the city logo on it.”

He added that the decal has an inspection number on it.

Anyone who notices a taxi operating without the inspection decal is asked to contact the Lloydminster bylaw office.

“We only ask is if someone calls us, they collect the vehicle number, the company name and the licence plate. 

As of Monday afternoon, 66 of the city’s 120 registered taxis had completed the inspection process.

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