By Tamika Seeto
Online production by Joseph Lam
The State government is set to unveil new ride-sharing laws in a further crackdown on the growing industry.
The legislation follows 16 recommendations made by a parliamentary committee earlier this month.
Black and White Cabs Chief Operating Officer John Lobwein says while the changes are welcome Uber is still getting a head start.
“The legislation probably goes about 30-70 split, it certainly doesn’t favour us and it’s certainly not a level playing field but it is at least some regulation so at least there will be some safety features that’ll keep the public happy so obviously we see that as an improvement on the situation we have at the moment.”
One of the main recommendations emerging from the report was that ride-sharing vehicles will not be required to have security cameras.
Mr Lobwein says that presents dangers to both passengers and drivers.
“From my perspective it won’t go well, there’s a reason there’s cameras in taxis that’s come about over many years with incidents that have happened, whether it’s the customer at fault or the driver at fault.”
Part-time Uber driver Kate Thompson says while cameras would be welcome, many drivers already take security into their own hands.
“I mean, obviously it would be nice, especially being a female driver, to have that added measure of security and I know a lot of people happen to take it upon themselves to put dashcams in there to feel safer.”
The committee also recommends new industry standards for fatigue management.
Ms Thompson says given the working flexibility Uber drivers have, the standards would be unnecessary.
“I think if you’re an Uber driver you’re an adult and you can gauge for yourself whether you should be on the road, whether you shouldn’t be– it’s not like you’re rostered so you can choose if you’re tired to stop.”
Other recommendations include banning working a taxi shift followed by an Uber shift, and creating a state-wide register for blacklisted drivers.
Mr Lobwein says the taxi industry will just have to wait and see how these changes affect the transport landscape.
“It’s just a matter of us waiting it out I suppose and unfortunately, well, watching what happens. It might be good.”
The committee has recommended a review after 18 months.