Two drivers were prosecuted at the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday 9 July for touting and soliciting passengers at Sydney Airport in November 2019.
One of the offenders pleaded guilty and was fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $550 in legal costs to the Point to Point Transport Commissioner. The offender had received a penalty notice before for the same offence. The Court stressed the importance of deterring this type of unlawful conduct.
The second offender failed to attend Court and, in his absence, the Court convicted and fined him $1,100. He was also ordered to pay $550 in legal costs to the Commissioner.
The two incidents were detected as part of ongoing compliance activity by the Point to Point Transport Commissioner at the Sydney Airport precinct, a high traffic area where people are vulnerable to being touted.
Point to Point Transport Commissioner, Anthony Wing, said attempting to offer unlawful passenger services for a fee, known as touting, at the airport or in any area of the state is not only an offence under point to point transport law, it is dangerous and a form of harassment.
“This outcome shows the courts are taking matters of passenger safety seriously,” Mr Wing said.
“Without a booking, there is no record of the driver, vehicle or trip and passengers are at risk of being exploited. Not to mention they can feel harassed and unsafe when approached by touting drivers.”
“Passengers should only enter pre-booked hire vehicles, or catch a taxi from an airport rank to ensure their safety. Taxis are equipped with safety equipment, including security cameras to provide safe rank and hail work in NSW.”
“Passengers are exposed to a number of risks when travelling with a driver or vehicle that hasn’t undergone safety checks, and other standard vetting procedures by an authorised service provider.”
If an individual is found guilty of touting and soliciting more than once, they are disqualified from driving a vehicle to provide passenger services in NSW.