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Compliance and enforcement

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria is responsible for helping ensure industry standards, regulatory obligations and community expectations are achieved across the commercial passenger vehicle industry.

Our approach ranges from raising industry awareness through education to taking more strategic and targeted interventions to help ensure Victoria has a safe, accessible, customer-focussed and competitive commercial passenger vehicle industry.

Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement Report - 12 June 2019

The below report outlines our monitoring, compliance and enforcement focus over the next three months. These activities are in addition to our business as usual regulatory activities that help us meet our strategic objectives.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) Safe Journey Analysis Project

Over one million wheelchair related journeys are taken in Victoria each year. Most journeys happen without incident, but we do receive reports of incidents in Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs). These range from faulty equipment, incorrect securing of passengers to overcharging and fare refusals. Some incidents have resulted in severe physical injuries to wheelchair passengers and even fatalities.

We have initiated the WAV Safe Journey Analysis Project to identify the contributing factors that lead to, or cause, injuries to wheelchair passengers so we can prevent them from occurring.

The project aims to increase passenger safety when using WAV services, foster community confidence in these services and to help ensure the industry is committed to offering accessible services.

Where are we at:

We’re currently engaging with key industry groups to gather information and identify the risks for passengers from the start to finish of their WAV journey.  Information gathered will help inform appropriate risk-based decisions and effective actions to improve the safety of WAV passengers and their drivers.

Multi Purpose Taxi Program Fraud

The Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) assists with the travel needs of people with severe and permanent disabilities by offering subsidised taxi fares to members.

MPTP funds, like all government funds, are finite and fraud is not a ‘victimless crime’

We devote significant audit, compliance and investigation resources to investigating and prosecuting instances of MPTP fraud and work closely with Victoria Police and other government agencies as part of this process. We also proactively engage with the taxi industry, as part of a broader enforcement approach, to identify and target illegal behaviours and actively promote enforcement outcomes across the industry.

We actively formulate initiatives to identify improper and/or fraudulent use of MPTP cards. We then use the resulting information/intelligence to either develop, or refine existing, practices, processes and procedures in relation to detection, deterrence, mitigation, investigation and prosecution of MPTP fraud.

A key strategic priority for us to ensure we are an effective regulator, and that our investigation and detection methods work within the current commercial passenger vehicle industry structure, particularly when new transaction methods are introduced.

Our intelligence measures are working. For example, between March and May 2019, six taxi drivers pleaded guilty and were convicted of MPTP fraud in Mildura.

Booking Service Provider (BSP) Audits

We conduct audits on BSPs to gauge how compliant they are with their regulatory obligations and responsibilities.  These can often be targeted audits focusing on a single safety requirement, such as maintaining an appropriate risk register.

Audits are generally about educating BSPs in the first instance to help them understand and adhere to their legislative requirements (if they weren’t already).  After an education phase, we can escalate our compliance approach if noncompliance continues. Any enforcement action taken will be constructive, accountable, transparent, consistent and fair.

This quarter, our focus is checking the complaints management systems of Booked BSPs. Audits allow us to effectively regulate the industry and ensure safety duties are being met by BSPs, so that commercial passenger vehicle services have high safety standards and are customer focussed.

Benchmarking of vehicle safety standards

A key strategic objective of CPVV is to ensure the commercial passenger vehicle industry is committed to safety and fosters community confidence in its services. We conduct benchmarking of vehicle safety standards to gauge the industry’s level of compliance regarding commercial passenger vehicle safety.

Benchmarking involves inspecting a cross section of vehicles across the state. The Quality Rating (QR) has set guidelines and parameters that we use when inspecting commercial passenger vehicles in the field. The vehicles are rated via a four-tier rating guide, from a high-quality vehicle, to a defective vehicle. The ratings obtained help us target future compliance activities. The results also assist in educating industry wherever noncompliance is discovered.

Targeted operations on unregistered and non-conventional platforms and unaccredited drivers

We regularly conduct operations, intelligence gathering exercises and education campaigns of both a covert and overt nature that target unregistered and non-conventional platforms and unaccredited drivers. For example, we are aware of people offering rides for cash, either with their own vehicle or a borrowed one. Some may not be aware what they are doing is illegal, and they need to be accredited and their vehicle needs to be registered. Passengers also don’t have reassurance their driver has been vetted. Under our strategic objectives, we aim to allow competition, however as an effective regulator we also need people meet their legal obligations, and offer a safe, customer focused service.

The aim, in the first instance, is to encourage these platforms and their drivers to become registered and accredited. Any compliance and enforcement activities will be constructive, accountable, transparent, appropriate and targeted. Any compliance actions taken will be proportionate, consistent and fair.

Our targeted operations will continue over the upcoming months, and we will continue to take action on these illegal platforms while educating the public on their unsafe nature.

Consultation: Monitoring, compliance and enforcement policy enforcement policy 2019-2022 - now closed

We consulted on our draft monitoring, compliance and enforcement policy 2019-2022. The draft policy outlines how we intend to monitor, promote compliance with, and enforce, industry laws in ways that are efficient, cost effective and proportionate.

Finalising the monitoring, compliance and enforcement policy

Submissions will be considered in May and June 2019 and amendments will be made to the policy in response to the feedback. All those who make a submission will receive feedback and an overview of changes to the policy will be made available on the CPVV and Engage Victoria websites.

The final CPVV monitoring, compliance and enforcement policy will be published on the CPVV website on or before 1 July 2019.