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Eighty taxis checked in York safety crackdown

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10:46am 23rd November 2010

Eighty taxis checked in York safety crackdown

More then one in four taxis checked during an York safety operation were stopped from carrying passengers.

News 6

Eighty hackney carriages and private hire cabs were stopped during the operation which ran during the evenings of Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November. It involved officers from the North Yorkshire Police, City of York Council Taxi Licensing Department, HM Revenue and Customs, the Vehicle Operator Standards Agency (VOSA) and benefit fraud investigators.

The purpose of the operation was to ensure that vehicles operating as hackney carriages or private hire cabs are roadworthy and that the drivers have the correct licences. It was also designed to reassure members of the public that taxis are safe to use and also to reassure those operating cabs legitimately that anyone operating illegally will be dealt with robustly.

Of the 80 vehicles, which included two limousines, the Taxi Licensing Team from the City of York Council took 22 vehicles off the road. Of these 15 were given immediate prohibitions and three were given delayed prohibitions. A further 30 vehicles were issued with advisory notices. The Taxi Licensing Team also suspended one driver from working.

Police officers issued 17 endorsable fixed penalty tickets and six non-endorsable tickets.

The Benefits Agency has started three investigations.

Traffic Constable David Hunter, who organised the two-day operation, said:

"Hundreds of members of the public use taxis within the city everyday and they need to know that the vehicles are roadworthy and that the drivers are properly licensed.

"We have been left appalled at the number of vehicles which have failed to meet minimum legal requirements and the number of drivers that we found to be committing offences. These were sadly in the majority. We will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues in other agencies to raise standards and will continue to run random operations in the future which will continue through the Christmas and New Year period.

"The risk posed to road users by dangerous taxis cannot be underestimated. Drivers must take responsibility for their passengers and other road users."

John Lacy, Licensing Manager at City of York Council, added:

"Enforcement is vital in ensuring that licensed vehicles in this city are safe, reliable, clean and well presented.

"The number of vehicles which were the subject of an immediate prohibition by VOSA examiners and the number of fixed penalties given for tyre and seatbelt offences is extremely worrying, especially as the City of York Council routinely checks all licensed vehicles at regular intervals and at least twice a year for vehicles over five years old.

"It is clear to me that vehicles are not being routinely maintained."

Anyone with concerns or information regarding individual taxi drivers or taxi companies should contact the City of York Council Taxi Licensing Department on 01904 551550.

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