Police and other authorities monitor taxi services
The Police, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, the Tax Administration and Occupational Safety and Health Divisions at Regional State Administrative Agencies have together begun an exercise to monitor taxi services in various parts of Finland. Each of the authorities involved will check matters within their competence in one stop.
“This joint monitoring is one form of cooperation between the supervisory authorities and has now become a model in taxi supervision. In addition, each authority will independently carry out supervision of the duties within its own remit,” says Assistant Police Commissioner Hannu Kautto at the National Police Board.
Traffic safety is being controlled from the police perspective.
Faults found with a quarter of taxis in the Oulu Region
Joint monitoring took place in the Oulu Region on 22-24 October 2021. Faults were found in more than a quarter of the taxis inspected. Whereas matters were in order from the traffic safety perspective, faults were found in compliance with other regulations. In particular, shortcomings in displaying information.
According to Chief Superintendent Kari Onninen at the National Police Board, drivers did not always know what documents they needed to show to supervisors.
“It’s advisable to keep documents authorising taxi services in good order since having to search for them prolongs inspections,” Onninen points out.
Going forward, similar monitoring exercises will be held in various parts of Finland.
Supervisory authorities monitor based on their responsibilities
According to Kari Onninen, the police primarily monitor traffic safety matters such as the driver’s fitness to drive and the roadworthiness of the vehicle.
“The police also check that the document authorising taxi services is in the vehicle and that the licence holder’s name and contact information are visible to passengers. In addition, the police check to ensure the driver has a driving licence, the vehicle has the appropriate taxi lamp, a taxi meter or some other similar device or system. Besides this, a vehicle operating taxi traffic must be registered for licensed traffic,” Onninen says.
Traficom checks to ensure compliance with the requirements applying to taxi traffic in accordance with the legislation and regulations issued pursuant to it, including properly displaying fare information.
The Tax Administration checks taxation matters. The tax declaration behaviour of cases arising during checks is monitored using the National Incomes Register among other things.
Occupational Safety and Health Divisions at Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVI) are responsible for monitoring the use of foreign labour. The objective is to ensure the promotion of fair competition and working conditions and to prevent the grey economy.
Changes in taxi regulations
This year has seen changes in regulations governing taxi services. These changes have entered into force gradually.
Since May, a vehicle used in taxi services must use a taxi lamp, the taxi transport licence or a copy of it, or some other appropriate information in the case of operations under another licence, must be in the vehicle operating as a taxi.
In September, changes entered into force concerning an obligation on the collection of information as well as the use of a taximeter and pricing.