Unlicensed taxi driver has car seized in spot checks
Multi agency operation held near East Midlands Airport
AN UNLICENSED taxi driver had his vehicle seized while another had his licence suspended during spot checks near East Midlands Airport.
North West Leicestershire District Council’s licensing team, Leicestershire Police, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), and HM Revenues and Customs joined forces to check 74 taxis near to East Midlands Airport.
They were also supported by licensing officers from eight other councils in the surrounding areas, as the airport attracts vehicles from across the Midlands. Seven of the 74 taxis were found to have serious defects.
Officers found that one driver was not licensed to drive the taxi he was in, which resulted in police officers seizing the vehicle.
One North West Leicestershire driver had his licence suspended on the spot for a host of issues which included: • No spare tyre or inflation kit • Evidence of smoking in the vehicle • A defective headlight • An out of date first aid kit • A spent fire extinguisher that hadn’t been replaced.
Four prohibitions were also issued for failing to have tyres that meet safety requirements, meaning the drivers will need to have the offending tyres replaced within seven days and provide evidence of this. A further vehicle was found to have serious accident damage.
Vehicles were tested in a number of ways to ensure they complied with safety and licensing laws. These included everything from tyre and light checks to fuel samples, which were tested by the HM Revenues and Customs team.
Coun Alison Smith, the council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for community services, said: “Taxi drivers have a responsibility to ensure passengers get to their destinations safely and the vast majority take this seriously and look after their vehicles.
“There are always exceptions though and it was good to see so many authorities working together to ensure that the high safety expectations are being met.
“A taxi driver is a profession where safety has to be the priority, and as we saw today we have no hesitation in suspended the licences of those that don’t comply. I hope this serves as a warning to other taxi drivers – make sure your vehicle and licence is up to scratch or risk losing your livelihood.”
Inspector Ivan Odell, from Leicestershire Police, said: “Officers from the East Midlands Airport Police Team - working alongside colleagues from NWLDC’s licensing team, the DVSA and HM Revenues and Customs - undertook a very successful operation aimed at ensuring that taxis operating in the area of East Midlands Airport are acting within the law and most importantly that they are safe for the travelling public to use.
“Whereas the vast majority of operators were safe and legal those who chose to operate otherwise will continue to be targeted and may face substantial penalties.”
DVSA enforcement expert Dell Evans added: “DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
“We work closely with local authorities, the police and other organisations to take unroadworthy or illegal taxis off the road.
“By working together with organisations such as NWLDC, we can better tackle rogue vehicles, helping make Britain’s roads even safer.”