The West

Taxi drivers face new crackdown
Taxi drivers face new crackdown

Taxi drivers who avoid cab ranks and pick up fares by illegally parking outside Perth nightspots will be the target of a police crackdown starting tonight.

Officers from Perth police station and the traffic enforcement group will be on Aberdeen, James and Murray streets this evening and tomorrow night as part of Operation Wrestler.

In their sights will be taxis that double-park outside bars and nightclubs to wait for customers.

Operation commander Sgt Nicole Winstone said the practice was dangerous because it enticed patrons, many of them intoxicated, on to the road to hail or get in a taxi.

It also hindered police vehicles and ambulances responding to emergencies in Northbridge and the city because they could not get through the gridlock, Sgt Winstone said.

Motorists who park their private vehicles in designated taxi ranks will also be targeted.

"The City of Perth has been requested to crack down on those who park in cab ranks," Sgt Winstone said.

"Parking inspectors will be used during the operation, which is due to run for the next two weekends but could go longer.

"We want taxis to use the taxi ranks. But in order to do that, we need patrons not to be parking in the ranks.

"We want people moving to the taxi ranks, which are secure and signed, rather than hailing cabs in the street."

The City of Perth and Department of Transport will install flashing "TAXI" LED signs at high-use CBD cab ranks to make them more easily identifiable.

"The sign also contains a map showing the passenger's location," a department spokeswoman said.

"Street lighting and CCTV cameras are also set to be installed."

The rollout comes after the successful trial of a prototype sign on William Street.

Police want a new taxi rank along James Street to ease congestion at the Milligan Street rank.

The West Australian

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