Naas taxi man was in protest mode at driver regulations, court hears

Taxi regulation

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Naas taxi man was in protest mode at driver regulations, court hears

The case was heard in Naas

A Naas-based taxi driver who was taken to the District Court for a breach of the taxi regulations was in protest mode at the time of the breach, the District Court heard.

Oliver McCormack, of Valley Forge, Dowdenstown, Ballymore Eustace, was taken to court by the National Transport Authority (NTA) for breaching Section 20 (4)(b) of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.

An NTA inspector said that he approached Mr McCormack at South Main Street taxi rank around 2.30pm on March 24, 2017. There was no roof sign on the car, as was required.

He said that Mr McCormck declined to cooperate with him. He issued a €40 fixed penalty notice, which was not paid.

The inspector said that Mr McCormack began to complain about about issues with the National Transport Authority, which were not relevant at the time.

Later Mr McCormack, who has been a taxi driver for 27 years, did explain that he had been to the car wash and had to take the sign off to avoid it being damaged.

He was about to replace it again when the inspector approached.

Asked by his barrister, Sarah Connolly BL, about the incident, the defendant said that he “had a bit of disagreement” with the NTA over “all the rules” coming in.

“I wrote to the Minister about taxis working illegally,” he said. Judge Desmond Zaidan asked him if he was protesting. He replied: “Yes. I am kind of here in protest.”

Judge Zaidan told Mr McCormack: “Your stubborness has you here today.”

Jason Teahan, solicitor for the National Transport Authority, said it would claim costs of €400 for the case. Judge Zaidan applied the Probation Act but ordered Mr McCormack to pay €200 in costs to the NTA for its costs in bringing the case.