NSW Taxi Council Backs Toughest Possible Penalties For Drivers Convicted of Serious Crimes

28 May 2015 | NSW Taxi Council

The NSW Taxi Council strongly condemns any criminal or inappropriate behaviour against passengers and is appalled by the convictions against driver Osman Chamseddine relating to the sexual assault of a disabled minor in 2009.

Despite it being widely reported that Osman Chamseddine is a taxi driver, advice from the NSW Government’s Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) and taxi networks show no record of this person ever possessing a taxi driver authority or ever driving a taxi vehicle.

At the time of the offences, Mr Chamseddine was driving a private vehicle under sub-contract to RSL Cabs as a Department of Education approved driver for the Assisted School Travel Program (ASTP).

CEO of the NSW Taxi Council, Roy Wakelin-King, said the conduct of the driver in this case is abhorrent and is clearly not acceptable under any circumstance.

“Anyone found guilty of offences of this nature have no place in the NSW Taxi Industry,” Mr Wakelin-King said.

“Based on the evidence available, these crimes occurred in a private vehicle where there were no safety mechanisms available, such as security cameras, in-built vehicle GPS, and duress alarms.”

Mr Wakelin-King said that the NSW Taxi Industry is working very closely with the Department of Education and Communities to ensure that services provided to the ASTP are carried out in the safest possible manner.

“These children are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and our industry is committed to ensuring that they are safe when they travel in a taxi,” he said.

“This includes ensuring that all drivers for the ASTP undergo criminal and Working With Children checks, as well as providing the fundamental safety systems such cameras and alarms.

“These rigorous checks don’t just happen once; they are ongoing at regular intervals,” Mr Wakelin-King said.