Twenty people had an expensive Melbourne Grand Prix weekend after being caught and fined $2181 each for ‘touting’ – illegally offering commercial passenger vehicle services.

The touters were detected by a safety and compliance operation run by Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) at the Melbourne Grand Prix event to check the safety of registered taxi and rideshare vehicles.

In addition to detecting touters, CPVV safety and compliance officers inspected over a hundred legally-operating taxi and rideshare vehicles and issued defect notices, infringements and official warnings for safety issues such as faulty headlights, bald tyres and missing roadworthy certificates. Vehicle owners must now rectify the issues or potentially face a further fine.

Chris Banks, Director Safety Operations and Policy, CPVV, said the weekend operation is part of CPVV’s rolling compliance program focussing on vehicle safety and touting.

“Safety issues such as bald tyres and faulty headlights increase the risk of accidents and injuries to drivers and passengers. CPVV officers routinely inspect commercial passenger vehicles to ensure safety standards are being met.

“We take touting seriously as it illegally undercuts licenced CPV drivers who are doing the right thing. Most importantly, it can be a serious safety risk for passengers, as they are potentially taking a trip from an unaccredited driver in an unregistered vehicle.

“As the safety regulator for the commercial passenger vehicle industry, CPVV’s primary focus is the safety of drivers and passengers.”