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06 Jan 2022

Tackling touting at Melbourne Airport

Fines of up to $2,181 handed out to touts at Melbourne Airport show how serious CPVV is about tackling touting.

In the past month, CPVV compliance officers have fined seven touts operating at the airport’s arrivals terminal. A six-week blitz last year also led to 19 touts being fined.

Touting is making unsolicited offers of passenger vehicle transport either verbally or via written signs. It has been illegal since 2019.

Chris Banks, Director Safety Operations and Policy, CPVV, said tackling touting is a priority for CPVV as touts undercut legitimate commercial passenger vehicle drivers.

“We regularly have compliance officers at Melbourne Airport and other busy locations to deter touting, including officers conducting covert and undercover surveillance,” he said. “Passengers accepting rides from touts also need to understand the driver may be unlicenced and the cost of the journey could be greater than a standard taxi or rideshare fare.”

The maximum penalty for touting is $10,904.40. If touts turn out to be licenced commercial passenger vehicle drivers, they also risk a review of their CPV licence.

As the safety regulator for the commercial passenger vehicle industry, CPVV’s primary focus is the safety of drivers and passengers.

15 Dec 2021

New campaign to improve travel in taxis and rideshares for people with a disability

A new awareness campaign aims to improve the travelling experiences of people with a disability by showing commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) drivers how to better meet the needs of their passengers.

The campaign – titled You make the difference – was launched on 3 December (International Day of People with Disability) by Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV).

Driver behaviour is the key element that makes for a successful and enjoyable trip for this community.

The campaign reinforces how important mobility is in the lives of people with a disability and reminds CPV booking providers and drivers of their responsibilities when carrying passengers in wheelchairs or who require additional assistance.

The centrepiece of the campaign is a series of video stories featuring people with a disability.

This includes artists from the QArt Studio in Kew, a member of Guide Dogs Victoria, and - in CPVV’s version of “You can't ask that” – a Q&A with author and speaker Carly Findlay and para-Olympian Heath Davidson.

The videos will be published online over the summer months, alongside billboards, social media, advertisements on community radio and podcasts.

The Victorian Government’s State Disability Plan 2017-2020, Absolutely Everyone, describes accessible public transport, including commercial passenger vehicles as a “critical” means to access education, employment and social activities for people with disabilities.

The You make the difference campaign videos will be published over the next three months on CPVV’s website at: www.cpv.vic.gov.au.

Quote attributable to Ayten Erkul, Director Customer Services, CPVV

“Being able to easily move around within the community is integral for the quality of life, social activities and job opportunities of people with a disability.

“Commercial passenger vehicles are a crucial part of enabling people with disability to have an equal chance of participating in society and the economy.

“The positive manner in which a commercial passenger vehicle driver speaks to and drives a person with disability is essential for a safe and enjoyable trip.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll

“We’re working to make our transport network more accessible and inclusive through infrastructure upgrades and placing emphasis on improving users’ experiences and needs, and this is another step towards achieving that.”

“We know there is more to do, which is why we continue to work with operators, community groups and locals to make sure our network meets the needs of all Victorians.”

14 Dec 2021

Keep on top of fatigue this festive season

The festive season is traditionally a busy period for the commercial passenger vehicle industry. More people out shopping, Christmas parties and end of year catchups all mean extra passenger journeys.

But longer shifts and more time on the road increases the risk of drivers becoming fatigued.

Safety regulator CPVV is urging drivers to look after themselves and their passengers during the festive season by managing fatigue and ensuring they stay well rested.

Fatigue is more than just feeling tired or drowsy, it is a continued feeling of being tired or not having any energy – a feeling of total exhaustion. CPV drivers can experience fatigue from long and consecutive shifts, little or no sleep, working at night and not enough recovery time between shifts.

Fatigue can be a deadly problem for long-term health as well as increasing the risk of accidents and injury.

Chris Banks, Director Safety Operations and Policy Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, said drivers should be extra vigilant about fatigue at this time of year.

“The festive season is a busy time for drivers and booking providers,” he said. “Watch for signs of fatigue, make sure you take adequate rest breaks and look after yourself and your passengers.”

Some simple tips for managing fatigue:

  • The only real way to treat fatigue is to sleep. The best sleep you can get is night sleep, so keep night shifts to a minimum.
  • Don’t drive if you feel fatigued – if you notice that you may have ‘nodded off’, even for a second, stop driving/working straight away, take a nap or have a break and something to drink.
  • Take plenty of rest breaks and drink water. Every two hours of driving without a break increases your risk of fatigue.

Fatigue management and the safety and wellbeing of drivers and members of the public are the responsibility of all industry participants. BSPs have a responsibility for monitoring their drivers.

More safety information for drivers and booking providers can be found on our website here: https://cpv.vic.gov.au/drivers/accredited-driver-responsibilities/industry-safety-toolbox#impairment

27 Apr 2021

Crackdown on touting at Melbourne Airport

A crackdown on touting is ongoing at Melbourne Airport, designed to deter offenders from this activity which has been illegal in Victoria since 2019.

Anyone who approaches potential customers directly, or holds up a sign offering services, is breaking the law and can face fines of up to $10,000.

The offence of touting was re-introduced into the CPVI Act as a direct response to increased levels unsociable behaviour and allegations of harassment by touters, mainly occurring at Melbourne Airport.

CPVV has received reports stating that despite the introduction of touting laws, touting has resumed at multiple Melbourne Airport terminals due to increased domestic travel.

Enforcement officers will be out in full force as part of this intelligence-led operation, ensuring CPV drivers and passengers  are aware of touting laws and compliance. In this joint operation with Melbourne Airport and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), officers will be monitoring and recording activities, as well as issuing fines.

CPVV will continue to work with Melbourne Airport and the AFP to ensure commercial passenger vehicle drivers and passengers are aware of touting laws.

01 Apr 2021

MPTP fraudster narrowly avoids jail sentence

A commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) driver narrowly avoided prison after stealing more than $8,000 from the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).

The MPTP provides subsidised CPV trips for people who are unable to use other forms of public transport due to disability or other accessibility needs.

The driver was convicted at Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29 March 2021. He was sentenced to a 24-month Community Correction Order and ordered to perform 275 hours of unpaid community work.

The court heard he had been convicted in 2003 of another fraud totaling more than $12,000 – but had not paid back the stolen money.

During the hearing, the Magistrate told the driver's lawyer there was a very real prospect of imprisonment. However, he was narrowly convinced by the defence lawyer to instead place the driver on a Community Correction Order.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) suspended the driver’s accreditation in February 2020. Now that the matter has been finalised in court – following lengthy court closures due to COVID-19 – CPVV is considering whether or not to take further action.

CPV drivers and booking service providers have a responsibility to ensure all MPTP transactions are processed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Correct Charging of Fares document PDF, 439.0 KB.

Anyone who commits fraud may face criminal action and lose their right to work in the CPV industry.