Bus and taxi drivers caught out drink driving
UP TO 10 Queensland motorists with the authorisation to drive passenger buses are caught drink driving every month, new figures reveal.
At least 550 drink-driving offences were committed by Queensland motorists with the authorisation to drive a general or scheduled passenger service between January 2012 and January 2017, a Right to Information request has revealed.
The data does not show if the motorists were caught drink driving while working, or if in fact they were working as drivers.
The documents also reveal that at least 200 drink driving offences were committed by motorists with the authority to drive taxis or ride sharing services over the same period.
This does not include ridesharing service providers who were convicted of drink driving before the service was legalised in Queensland in August 2016.
Brisbane City Council Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner, who chairs the Public and Active Transport Committee, said the council had a zero-tolerance approach for drug and alcohol use among bus drivers.
"Council expects all bus drivers to meet a no-alcohol limit of 0.00 per cent when operating vehicles, and any drivers who tested positive to drug or alcohol use were not permitted to drive vehicles," he said.
"On suspicion of alcohol or drug intoxication, drivers are removed from duty and referred for testing. They are only able to return to duty if a negative result is returned."
Martin Hall, general manager of Surfside Buslines on the Gold Coast, said the company conducted "robust testing procedures", including breathalysing drivers before every shift.
A spokeswoman for TransLink said safety was its number one priority.
"The Queensland Government now has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and drugs across the transport industry, and it expects all drivers to comply," she said.
Taxi Council Queensland chief executive Benjamin Walsh said the taxi and ridesharing service figures were "meaningless".
"That around 40 people who have driver authorisations are booked for drink driving each year should not be of concern to the public in terms of taxi safety, particularly as there is no evidence any of these occurred while on the job driving a taxi," he said.