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Monday, 19 December 2011

Taxis...Shame on you!

Enough is enough, I'll say!

My drivers report near collisions with taxi drivers every weekend and I personally have to watch out for them when I am on the road.

Here is a brief account of a "normal" weekend encounter with taxis:

INCIDENT #1:
Riding the bike on St Kilda road and hit by a wreckless taxi driver on Friday night who just shouted "sorry" and drove off.
I was left buffled with a broken mirror, damaged handle bar and a good fright as I had been bumped at 50km/h and avoided by not much a parked car on the side of the road.
The most amazing thing is that I was riding in the middle of the left lane of a "straight road" with 3 more lanes available for cars to overtake me!
I could only take his plate number and tried to call Silver Taxis but guess what... line experiencing technical difficulties all night! (I had to wait until Sunday morning to speak to them)

OUTCOME:
I called the taxi company and was told to contact the police as they don't deal with this type of issues!
That's accountability for you!

INCIDENT #2:
Riding the bike on St Kilda road again on Saturday night and nearly missed by another Taxi. The only reason I did not get killed was because I swerved and avoided the collision.
I caught up with him and confronted him at the traffic light. All he had to say in a broken English was "get off the F** ing road" and then flipped the bird at me in front of his front seat passenger and then drove off at speed.

OUTCOME:
Nothing I can do as I was not hit!!!

These guys are rude, unprofessional and potential road killers and should never be employed in the first place.
Too many of them put Melbourne to shame with their disgraceful behaviour and lack of basic driving skills.

YES, Melbourne need more taxis.
NO, Melbourne should not get more incompetent taxi drivers

The questions are:
What are the taxi companies' selection criteria to employ their drivers.
How much time do they spend on properly training their drivers.
Finally, how much effort do they put into quality control and monitoring?

Silver Taxi, 13CABS and all the likes, put your acts together and spend less money and time on advertising (what's the point when you can't even cope with the demand!) and more on training and monitoring of your existing staff and recruitment procedure of your future drivers.

I don't have money to advertise because I spend it all on paying my drivers very well and getting all the resources they need to work at the highest standards. (average $30/h compared to $10 for taxi drivers)

I personally spend 4 hours to induct each of my new drivers and liaise with them all the time to maintain quality assurance.

I rarely have a go at competitors but you deserve to be named and shamed for your actions and the bad reputation you give to the transport services in Melbourne.

CEO and executives of Melbourne major taxi companies, you are rolling on millions of $$ but show no respect for your customers.
TAXIS, SHAME ON YOU!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Drivers needed urgently - $100 reward for a recommendation

We are the victims of our own success and popularity... and need drivers urgently!

It is a fantastic feeling to earn the recognition from Melbourne that we are a premium service delivering at the highest standards. 
However the flip of the coin is that my selection criteria of your drivers are so specific that it drastically limits the number of applicants who can join the team.
The lead up to Xmas and New Year's Eve is the busiest time of the year for us and the word of mouth added to the current messy Taxi situation is driving more people towards us everyday.

Who can best recommend a driver but you, our own customers as you know best what I will expect from them?

If you can recommend a suitable driver who will remain employed for two months, you will receive a free journey of up to $100 valid for one year!

Let me rephrase this...
RECOMMEND A SUITABLE DRIVER AND RECEIVE
A FREE JOURNEY OF UP TO $100 VALID FOR A WHOLE YEAR

Let the search begin!

We are looking for drivers who are 25+ with 5 years driving licence and a R licence or a partner who can follow them in their car - tag team.
They must not have any DUI conviction and will need to show evidence of their driving and insurance claim history to be eligible.
All drivers need to own their own GPS device (and bike riding gear if applicable) and have a good knowledge of Melbourne main arteries.
This job is more than just about driving fancy cars, it is a personal service that requires the upmost customer service skills, a good sense of humour and conversational skills, flexibility and ability to deal with changes of plans at the last minute.

It is an exciting job, very well paid and extremely rewarding.
Please call 1300 We Drive or send a CV to info@driversonscoot.com.au 

To find out more about us, please visit http://www.driversonscoot.com.au/




Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Xmas drink driving campaign targets office parties: You are being monitored!

That's it, the silly seaon has officially launched with the first Xmas office parties being held in the City in the past two nights.
It's a busy time for the hospitality industry but also for the Police forces who target office parties as part of their Xmas drink driving campaign.

The recent Automobile Association (aka AA) 'Populus Panel survey showed that work colleagues are most likely to encourage respondents to drink ‘just one more’ when they are intending to drive (14%)'.

Big brother will be watching you...

'The AA advertising campaign will be run where office parties are most likely to take place, and online to tap into the ‘getting ready’ occasion via Facebook, MSN, Spotify, YouTube and w00t!. The campaign launches on December 1 and will run over the Christmas period until the beginning of January 2012'.

The likelyhood is that not only AA will closely monitor these social media networks but I would anticipate the police will too!


If you plan your outfit to go to a party, should you not plan your way home too?
If you're going to drink, 1300 WE DRIVE - Call us or book online

Friday, 18 November 2011

Police to stay tough this summer

The police has vouched to relentlessly track down the drink-drivers but also anyone impaired on the roads.

Drug testing stations as well as booze buses will be set up in side streets, back streets and main arteries of Melbourne Metropolitan region over the 7 weeks long festive period.

Basically, the question is no longer  if drink-drivers will be caught... it's down to when they will be caught.

Nobody plans to crash their car or to lose their license for Xmas. 

It is very simple: If you drink, 1300 We Drive! 

“Over this seven-week period last year we lost 38 lives on Victorian roads,” Mr Walshe said.

“The aim of Victoria Police, TAC, VicRoads and all our road safety partners is to see that figure reduced.

“While we will all be working hard to make this happen, it’s all road users that can make the real difference.

“We all know what the key risks are – speed, alcohol and distraction. Stay alive this summer and stay away from the risks.”




Monday, 31 October 2011

Alcohol times and drink driving death toll: Don't become a statistic

As I was researching information on the times motorists need our service the most (outside of the obvious Friady-Saturday nights) I came accross a very interesting fact.

Did you know that police breatalizing operations find drivers over the limit up until 10am on a Sunday morning?

This shows to say that a common wrong assumption is that a good night sleep will take care of a well fuelled time the night before.

I had a customer recently telling me that he had a shock when he breathalized himself at 8am after an extended function lunch the day before. Although he stopped drinking at 7pm he still scored 0.7 in the morning.
For the record, he locked the car and called a cab to go to work!

Hereunder is the link towards few things every motorist should be aware of when taking the wheel after few drinks.

TAC drink driving facts

Alcohol times


 12am -6am6am – 8am8am – 10am10am – 2pm2pm – 4pm4pm – 6pm6pm – 12am
Monday       
Tuesday       
Wednesday       
Thursday       
Friday       
Saturday       
Sunday       


 Don't become a statistic - never drink & drive!


Friday, 7 October 2011

OUR PARTNERS ON THE BEACH SIDE

The list of establishments promoting our service is growing everyday. Thanks to all!

Robarta, Saint Kilda
The restaurant is open for both late afternoon snacks and evening meals. Enjoy great food and wine in true St Kilda style and embience. Then sip on few cocktails whilst listening to live band music or dance early on to chillout grooves followed by the best commercial house in town!

Windows On the Bay, Mordialloc
At the forefront of thier vision and philisophy is to provide quality food in a relaxed environment. An Australian/European inspired menu following the "faites simple" principle in a peaceful environment overlooking the bay.

The Cerberus Beach House, Beaumaris
This restaurant and bar overlooks one of the most spectacular bays just over 20KM south of Melbourne CBD. Have dinner and watc the boats sail past and the sun go down! Serving up locally sourced seasonal foods throughout the year.

The Best-Western Buckingham International, Highett
Situated in the Bayside suburb of Highett, the Buckingham has a well-deserved excellent reputation for functions, accomodation, friendly bar and excellent restaurant. One of the best Porterhouse steak I've had in Melbourne! (Yan, steak lover!)

Soon to come a blurb for each of our Beach Side partners: The Hemisphere in Moorabbin, Melbourne Golf Academy, Peninsula Golf Club in Frankston, Yarra Yarra Golf Club, Sandringham Yacht Club, Sandringham Footy Club, Donnovan's in Brighton , Vincent's in Black Rock, Brighton Middle Baths, the Royal Oak hotel in Cheltenham, The Elsternwick Hotel, The Red Rhumba in Malvern, The Bay and Main Street cafe in Mordialloc, Michelangelo in Aspendale Garden, Cafe Blah-Blah in Mentone.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Prostate cancer: Facts & EJ WHITTEN Foundation

I was lucky and privileged to attend the Brownlow Medal dinner last night as a guest of Ted Whitten, founder of the EJ WHITTEN Foundation -


At Drivers On Scoot, we are proudly supporting the foundation whose relentless effort is to raise awareness about men's health in general and to support the prostate cancer research in particular.

Few facts about prostate cancer:

Did you know that this year, over 6,000 men aged 50+ will be diagnosed with prostate cancer?
Very sadly, half of them will die because once the symptoms are showing, it is already too late!

What to do then?
Get regular blood test and health checks if you are 40+ and even more so if you are 50+.
Share this with your mates as there is no shame in talking about this... on the contrary!

Risk factors:
The causes of prostate cancer are not known. However there are certain risk factors that have been linked with the development of prostate cancer including:
• Family history of prostate cancer- those men with a father or brother who has had prostate cancer
• Age- men over the age of 50 years
• Diet- a diet high in animal fat and protein
• Race- Afro-Caribbean men are more at risk of having prostate cancer than Asian me
n


For more information visit http://1300whitten.com.au/

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Who will drive my car home? The reasons why Drivers On Scoot should!

Read on the last statistics and facts about drink driving in Australia / Victoria.
Please note the following information is extracted from verified sources such as Govermental organizations and Lawyers' firms publications.

How many people have asked the same questions when going out?
"Who will drive my car home now?" or Who will  be the designated driver tonight?"

My answer is:
"I will... or more precisely a scooterman from Drivers On Scoot will!"
We are fast approaching the "silly season" and our number should be stored in most Melbourne drivers's phone. Hereunder are some of the best reason why.

If you read this blog, please save the number now:
1300 9337483
and pass it onto all your friends and family.

Will you lose your licence if caught drink-driving?
If you are over 0.5, then in many cases YES.
If you are under 26 or had a licence for less than 3 years and/or you are over 0.7, then in all cases YES.
How long will you lose your licence for?
Any reading up to .09 will result in a licence loss for a minimum period of six months. For readings of .10 you get 10 months, for .11 you get eleven months, .12 you get 12 months and so on up to 24 months. For a second or subsequent offence those minimum periods double.
Can you get a drive to work licence if caught drink driving?
NO. If the Court takes your licence away you cannot get a drive to work licence. You will have to make alternative arrangements for work, even if you depend on your licence to make a living.

Why is it important to book our service in advance?
After drinking too much you are unable to make safe, responsible decisions and deal with complex problems. Mreover, since everyone is affected by alcohol differently, there is no set number of drinks to stay under the limit. Even if you drink a set amount on two separate occasions, you might get different blood alcohol concentration readings which makes it very hard to know whether you are over the limit or not.

MAXIMUM Penalties for Drink Driving offences committed after 10.10.2006
First Offence
Max Fine
Max Prison
All first offenders $1,400 Nil
Second Offence
Under 0.15% $7,000 6 months
On or over 0.15% $14,000 12 months
Refusing a requirement $14,000 12 months
Third Offence
Under 0.15% $14,000 12 months
On or over 0.15% $21,000 18 months
Refusing a requirement $21,000 18 months

In comparison, our service cost starts at $45 and averages at $70 for inner-suburbs around Melbourne!

A report issued in October 2009 stated annual figures for Drink Driving in Australia of:
  • 12,399,027 Breath Tests carried out in the last year
  • 111,045 people charged with drink driving in that year
This shows that almost 9 in every 1,000 drivers breath tested, during 2009 were over the Australian drink driving limit of 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, commonly known as 0.05. (maybe about 4 per 1,000 over 0.08)

In 2011 the number of drivers caught DUI was 16,946 over 0.5 and 9,320 over 0.8!
Alcohol and effects on driving:
Safe driving requires the driver to pay attention to many things at once and to be able to react quickly when something unexpected happens.
All drivers need:
  • to be mentally alert;
  • to have clear vision;
  • physical coordination; and
  • the ability to react appropriately.
Impairment of any of these driving abilities can increase the risk of having a crash.
The dangers of driving after using alcohol include that the driver:
  • takes longer to react, especially to emergency situations;
  • their ability to think clearly is reduced, making it difficult to perform the multiple tasks required in order to drive safely;
  • their ability to pay attention is reduced, such as not noticing other road users; and
  • may have blurred vision and reduced hearing.
Common effects of alcohol, such as feeling more confident, may also lead to increased risk taking, while effects such as feeling more relaxed may lead to the driver falling asleep at the wheel.
A person who drinks alcohol may think they can alter their driving to counteract any impairment to their driving ability. However, this is a dangerous approach, as the effects of alcohol may mean that the driver:
  • fails to notice something they would normally have observed;
  • may have an altered view and experience of reality — their actions and responses may be quite different to what is actually needed; and
  • may be unaware how much their driving skills are affected after drinking alcohol.

Our biggest challenge is undoubtably to get Melbourne to know about us and understand the concept.
You drink we drive is our motto and the choice of 1300 We Drive number is not fortuite because:

IF YOU DRINK, WE DRIVE... as simple as that! 

Friday, 23 September 2011

Should we tweet where the booze buses are located?

A customer asked me if we could tweet where the booze buses are as our drivers drive pass them (or get breathalized) every night so that he is reminded to call us if he needs us.

At first I thought why not but then, hmmm maybe not because we don't want to encourage people to drink-drive and take the back streets but then the second thought was that it would make people aware that there is no escaping from them as they are virtually everywhere and the question drink-drivers should asked themselves is not if they're going to be caught but when.

Currently the people who follow us on Facebook and tweeter are people who value our service and want the roads to be a safe place for everyone but then would it change the nature of our followers if we were to start spotting the booze buses?

Could it be seen as a form of interference with police actions such as when people flash incoming traffic when there is a speed camera?

On the other hand, is it not warning people not to chance it and reminding them to use our service (or whatever means of transport they want) and/or inform their friends and family to do the same when they know it is in their areas?

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this. Please feel free to comment.

In the meantime we will still inform you of unexpected traffic jams!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Drivers On Scoot French Corner partners, bon appetit!

Another restaurant has now joined Drivers On Scoot "French corner" partners list:

Welcome / bienvenue to Madame Sousou located at 231 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy! If Madame Sousou were a person she would be tres chic, extremely flirtatious and very, very sexy!

Our other "French" partners are:

France-Soir located at 11 Toorak Road in South Yarra. One of the most famous French restaurants in Melbourne with an exciting and lenghty wine list - almost the restaurant's "raison d'etre" - brings you to a world of fine cuisine in an elegant environment!
Bergerac located at 131 King Street in Melbourne CBD. This French restaurant has the most comprehensive wine list you can ever wish for to accompany "a la carte" menus and set menus delicate meals. A must go for wine lovers!Chateau-Latour, Chateau-Margot, Pauillac, Marboeuf, etc... you name it, they have it!
La Ficelle located at 196 Como Parade west in Pakdale. A beautiful, charming little restaurant with a a mix of contemporary and traditional dishes with a French influence.
Harvey's located at 10 Murphy street in South Yarra.
A French owner and a top UK chef. What better European combination can you hope for? Since 1994, Harvey's has established itself as one of Melbourne's favourite restaurants!
Bon Appetit!! and remember, don't drink and drive!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Audi S5 2 door coupe- 9/10

I have now driven many "good" cars and have been lucky enough to have nice customers who ask me to push a little (within speed limit!) to test their cars' response.

Today I'll comment on the AUDI S5 2 door coupe:

The immediate word that comes to mind before you even start the engine is luxury. The interior is just spectacular and well designed to bring both comfort and functionality. (The red leather seats are a bit too flashy to my liking but it certainly has the wow factor!)
This car is clearly intended for speed and sporty driving style but it is surprisingly a very smooth car to drive at low engine rpm.
The 6 gear box works beautifully (note the 2nd gear is very short live and you need to move quickly to 3rd gear to keep the acceleration)
The automatic version of it does not offer the same grip although it has the sport function and can flip to 6 gear manual)
I tested it on the racing track at albert Park and oh boy... it grips the tarmac amazingly in the curves.(thanks to low and very wide tyres)
The sound system is excellent (front and rear) although you would want to still hear that bubbly engine noise too when in neutral.
Finally, quite some room at the back for a two door model.
Only one downside: Initial cost vs retained value over the years!!!
My tip: buy a 2-3 years old one and you'll get the best value for money.
VERDICT: 9/10
Thanks Danny!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Booze Bus encounter!

11pm: After picking up a new client from Finz in Sandringham we are cruising along beach road towards Mordialloc. We are chatting along about the business and how the idea came to my mind initially.

I told him Marian and I were getting married two years ago and were looking for ways to go home safely for our guests after the reception.
Unfortunately, there wasn't anything but hiring a bus or taking cars:((
Why would you sit in a bus at 1am and have to go all over Melbourne for hours before being dropped off at your house? (and that is with taking a taxi on the way up to the wedding location then take another one to the reception location... a fortune + a real fun killer!)
The only option left was to have a designated driver... now, honestly, who wants to be a designated driver on a wedding day? (another fun killer if you like to have a good time and enjoy free drinks)

After a thorough google search the result was... a worl wide web of nothingness!.. and that's how the idea started to germinate in our minds.
Sadly that year, we also lost a good friend in a road accident and this was the final trigger that got us to think: "What about we drive people back home in their own cars after parties - no more drink drivers on the roads?"

A dream maybe but that's what we are hoping to achieve... one day!

Did I divert a little from the initial story?
So... We arrive in Beaumaris and guess who's on the road stopping every single car?
Yep, the BOOZE BUS and a massive cohort of cops with breathalizers.
Just few words came out of my client's mouth
"...and that would have been my licence gone!!"

The irony is that they let me drive through without breathalizing me!!
Don't drink and drive.
Cheers

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Dumb and Dumber... on Scoot!

We get called Dumb and Dumber so many times by pedestrians on the roads that I had to share this link with you to show that we don't look anything like these two guys at all.

Dumb & dumber on scoot!

Actually, after long reflection... I have to admit we do (especialy on freezing cold days) and you know what? I'm totally proud of it as it brings a smile on everone's face when we ride pass!
It is also one of my all times favourite comedy so BRING ON pedestrians...
Dumb and dumber on scoot ready to keep the roads safe!
But don't be mistaken, our drivers are not dumb.. far from it. They are real professional drivers with the best customer service and inter-personal skills.

Good work guys!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

What's new at Drivers On Scoot?

A year in the run now and a lot going on at the moment!

We've proudly passed the one year stage and survived. Better than that, we actually grew from one man and his bike at the start to 8 drivers and their bikes located all around Melbourne.
We now have over 100 pubs, clubs, bars, hotels and restaurants supporting us (I'll post a list of them soon).

Our clients range from stars, celebrities, business owners, traddies, corporate and executives, employees - young and not so young families, couples, singles, brides and grooms, mates... you name it.
This service has proved to be convenient for anyone and everyone who owns a car and likes to have fun and release the pressure off a busy life from time to time.

So what's up now?
Going on "RADIO" on 12th September with Nova FM drive time (news flash credits) and just about to launch our newly redesigned website on the same date.
We just became proud sponsors of the EJ Whitten "Mr Australia" Foundation.
We have reached 170 members on our Facebook page (hoping to reach 200, 500, 1000, more?... as many people as we can to create awarness that drink driving is NOT socially acceptable!)
https://www.facebook.com/driversonscoot

Recently selected to appear as a cover for small Business Victoria brochures and booklets.
www.tourism.vic.gov.au/piecesofvictoria/july_2011/index.php?page=under_the_radar12

We even have people twitting and blogging about us!!
http://bri-williams.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-thinking-for-old-business-models.html
Thanks a lot Bri, by the way for this really interesting post!

Please feel free to post your comments too, I will regularly post stories about our drivers' experiences (without naming anyone of course as without a doubt, this business is maybe a little hardwork at times but it is not boring!!!
Cheers to all
Yan / owner of Drivers On Scoot