TAXI drivers are asking for more places to drop off vulnerable passengers as Orange City Council begins to crack down on illegal stopping.
Drivers have been pulling over in bus zones in Summer Street to drop off elderly and less mobile passengers, and also outside schools in cases where children required a taxi.
NSW road rules forbid taxis from stopping in bus zones unless otherwise signposted and in the past three months, council rangers operating on foot and inside the council's mobile enforcement vehicle have issued at least six fines, at $337 each.
Taxi Cabs of Orange Co-operative chairman Darryl Curran said drivers wanted to ensure they could drop off their passengers in a safe place, particularly where they carried a duty of care ensure children entered the school gates.
If you have to drop someone at the post office or the ANZ, there's nowhere to go.Taxi Cabs of Orange Co-operative chairman Darryl Curran
He said Summer Street between Lords Place and Anson Street was the most commonly requested destination for elderly passengers, but the sole taxi zone on the northern side was also a loading zone and often occupied.
"If you have to drop someone at the post office or the ANZ, there's nowhere to go," he said.
Driver Roger Davis said the fine was tough to bear.
"It means I worked that day for nothing, pretty well," he said.
Mr Curran said talks with Orange Buslines indicated it would be happy for taxis to use its bus zones and suggested signage to formalise the arrangement.
"It's not a hard thing to fix," Mr Davis said.
The co-op will contact the City of Orange Traffic Committee.
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the traffic committee could consider all requests for additional taxi zones but on the question of stopping in bus zones in the meantime, he said there could be no exceptions.
"The road rules are in place for a reason and all vehicles must obey the rules regardless," he said.
"After giving verbal warnings for about six months, parking officers began to fine vehicles for parking in bus zones, in no stopping zones and double parking - this kind of behaviour puts the lives of children at risk."
Mr Redmond said everyone who dropped a child off at school had a duty of care of that child.
"But not at the expense of others," he said.
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