Un­li­censed taxi driver has car seized in spot checks

Multi agency op­er­a­tion held near East Mid­lands Air­port

Loughborough Echo - - SHEPSHED SCENE - DAVID GODSALL david.godsall@reach­plc.com

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in­cluded: • No spare tyre or in­fla­tion kit • Ev­i­dence of smok­ing in the ve­hi­cle • A de­fec­tive head­light • An out of date first aid kit • A spent fire ex­tin­guisher that hadn’t been re­placed.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.”

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