Illegal to reject short fares

QUEENSLAND'S taxi industry is urging customers to report rogue drivers who refuse short-distance fares.

This comes a week after Jill Meagher's murder in Melbourne, in which she was abducted while walking less than 1km to her home, sparked social media debate about whether taxi drivers would take people that distance.

Taxi Council Queensland sent a memo to drivers reminding them it was against Queensland law for drivers to refuse a fare based on the distance of the intended trip.

"Any driver who does this risks losing their driver authorisation", it warns.

TCQ chief Benjamin Wash said a driver could legitimately refuse a fare for safety reasons, if the customer was intoxicated or had no ability to pay the fare, but for distance was illegal.

He said TCQ would not allow a small percentage of drivers to tarnish the reputation the industry - including 12,000 Queensland taxi drivers collecting 240,000 taxi fares a day - had worked hard to build.

"We know that the amount of problems is miniscule but when we hear of issues we act," he said.

Mr Wash has appealed to customers refused a fare because of distance to record the driver or taxi number and contact the taxi booking company.

"I can assure our customers any complaint will be acted upon, but if no one tells us, we don't know," he said.



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