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Block host Scott Cam has lashed out at NSW taxi drivers for “ripping off” passengers by refusing to turn the meter on.

Cam spoke to Ben Fordham about the issue on 2GB on Monday, saying he wasn’t aware of the issue until he jumped in a taxi with his wife on Friday.

The presenter said he doesn’t often take taxis and that the driver informed him that the trip to the requested address would cost $45.

When he asked the driver to turn on the meter instead, he was met with refusal.

“We got out with a few choice words and we walked up the road and got an Uber for $27 to the same address,” Cam said.

He added that his biggest concern was for his children and that he didn’t want his daughter to be forced to pay the price set by the driver or be “exposed” while waiting for an Uber to come home on a night out, as an example.

“We’ve got to stamp this out, mate,” he said.

“They’re ripping kids off. They’re ripping people off. You and I can afford to get a cab but, you know, kids can’t, trying to get home late at night and that’s what worries me.”

After speaking to others about his experience, Cam discovered the issue was “rife” and one that his daughter had also experienced.

“My daughter said to me ‘that happens in every cab ride,’” he said.

Fordham shared a similar experience he had where a taxi driver refused to turn on the meter, before reading out other complaints he had received from listeners.

“I’ve had the same issue with taxis. $40 after the races from Randwick to Coogee. We didn’t realise the meter wasn’t on until we got to Coogee,” one said.

“We were asked to pay $100 from Olympic Park to Parramatta after the NRL grand final,” said another.

One of the show’s producers said he paid $30 for a 2.6km trip on Sunday night after the driver refused to turn the meter on.

Unlike Uber and other ride share service fares, which can be higher in different areas or after major events as a result of dynamic pricing, taxi drivers are required to use the meter during a rank and hail trip and cannot negotiate or demand a fare that is different – with the exception of applicable tolls.

If drivers fail to use the meter, they could be hit with a $300 fine.

In a statement shared with the show, the NSW Taxi Council said it had raised the complaint with the Point to Point Transport Commission Regulator, which has “the power to fine and prosecute drivers”.

“It is unacceptable and need to work with the regulator to stop this,” the statement said.

“In Rank & Hail, it is illegal for drivers to refuse a fare and they need to run the meter.”

In a recent media release, the Point to Point Transport Commission said its compliance team had been out on the streets to deter this behaviour, with Commissioner Anthony Wing saying the team had been “at a number of major events in Sydney and throughout NSW” to help ”deter illegal and unsafe driver behaviour at these locations”.

“My compliance team of Authorised Officers continue to have a visible presence at targeted locations throughout NSW. Since the start of October, they have inspected more than 600 vehicles (taxis, hire car and rideshare)” Mr Wing said.

The safety of drivers and passengers will always be my absolute priority and any instance where drivers are not following the law is unacceptable. As we go into the festive period we will be continuing to be out in force.”

Images: @scottycamofficial (Instagram) / Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.