Don't take a risk this Christmas
Party goers are being urged to stay safe this Christmas and New Year when making their way home from their festive nights out and only use official licensed taxis or private hire vehicles booked through a licensed operator.
The Council has received reports of bogus unlicensed vehicles claiming to be legitimate taxi and private hire businesses. The Council is therefore urging passengers to always check the vehicle has an official licence plate on the back of a vehicle before getting inside. Once inside the vehicle you should check the driver is wearing an identification badge, which will display a photograph of the driver, their name, licence number and the Bassetlaw District Council logo. There will be a secondary driver identity badge displayed inside the vehicle
Licensed taxis can only be hired from a rank or by hailing, and these are identifiable by their illuminated TAXI roof signs. Private hire vehicles must be booked in advanced through a licensed Private hire operator. Details of licensed Private hire operators can be obtained from the Council's Licensing Department.
The Council has introduced a wide range of measures to increase the standards, safety and protection of the travelling public. By using a licensed vehicle, members of the public can be safe in the knowledge that the driver is deemed to be a “fit and proper person” to hold a licence. This is established by ensuring the driver has had an enhanced criminal records (DBS) check, that they have passed an independent medical and have also participated in safeguarding vulnerable passenger training and passed the associated assessment. Newly licensed drivers have to pass a practical driving assessment and a knowledge test to check their knowledge of the Bassetlaw District.
All licensed vehicles are inspected at least every 12 months to a standard in excess of that of a normal MOT. Bassetlaw District Council have a maximum age policy for licensed vehicles.
Cllr Josie Potts, Chair of the Council’s Licensing Committee said:
“Although we want everyone to enjoy themselves this Christmas, it is vitally important that people remain safe when on a night out. Unlicensed taxis and drivers are operating illegally, if you choose to use one of these vehicles or drivers you have no way of knowing if your driver or vehicle is safe. So please don’t take a risk. Take a licensed taxi instead.”
The Council advises residents to:
- Always plan how you are going to get home after a night out
- Keep your mobile phone at hand
- When you get to your destination ask the driver to wait until you get inside
- If you feel unsafe ask to be dropped off in a well-lit area where there are plenty of people
- Ask how much the journey will cost and make sure you have enough money to pay the fare
Stella Bacon, the Council’s Principal Licensing Solicitor said:
“All licensed drivers and vehicles are required to meet a number of stringent checks; these include enhanced criminal record checks for drivers and regular testing of the vehicles. If you have any doubt about a driver or a vehicle do not get into the vehicle. Report it to the council by calling 01909 533 283 or emailing email@example.com or via our website www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/everything-else/legal-licensing/taxi-complaints.aspx”