FROM Monday taxi drivers in NSW have had to buckle up.
The change ends an exemption that, since seatbelts became compulsory in NSW in 1971, has allowed cabbies to operate their vehicles without buckling up.
Director of Nowra Radio Taxi Co-op Steve Griffith said the move was inevitable.
“We knew it was inevitable for a few years,” he said.
“It did make life easier, getting in and out of the cab a lot to help customers with babies, wheelchairs and even shopping.
“But from a safety point of view I can see why they have made the change.
“Some drivers may disagree. There was the thought that being locked in with a seatbelt could leave them vulnerable to possible attacks or assaults.
“Thankfully we haven’t had too many issues down here. In the 10 years I’ve been involved I don’t think we have had anyone injured as a result of an assault or in a car accident.
“It is a change and something we will have to get used to.
“Safety statistics have certainly shown that wearing a seatbelt reduces injury in the case of an accident.”
He said the Nowra co-op has 50 drivers on its books who may work from one day a week up to five days a week.