Title and sub-title: Research on the safety implications of taxi and hire car age limits
Author(s): Newstead, S., Mulvihill, C., Budd, L., Andrea, C., Fridman, M., Koppel, S. and Nheu, N.
This project was funded through a contract with the Taxi Services Commission (TSC).
Abstract: In response to recommendations from the review of the Victorian taxi industry, the objective of this project was to evaluate the appropriateness of current taxi and hire car age limits in ensuring safety of the taxi and hire car fleets. The aim was also to identify and analyse all associated issues including safety that the Taxi Services Commission (TSC) should consider in setting age limits for taxis and hire cars into the future. The project used a two phase methodology to meet these objectives. Phase one involved extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders in the taxi and hire car industries to determine issues relevant to the choice and operation of vehicles as taxis and hire cars. The second phase involved extensive analysis of the safety performance of the taxi and hire car fleet including the risk of crash involvement and injury outcomes related to vehicle choice in the event of a crash. The analysis then examined the relationship between these factors, taxi or hire car type and vehicle age. The safety performance was then used to construct an analytical model to test the influence of various scenarios not only for changes in taxi and hire car age limits but also scenarios related to safer vehicle choice and reduced vehicle crash risk related to improvements in driving standards. Finally, the economic worth of each of the scenarios considered was estimated in order to identify the most cost-effective strategies for improving the future safety of the taxi and hire car fleet. Recommendations for future policy on taxi and hire car age limits, vehicle choice and driver focused interventions were made and priorities for further research identified.