Taxi crackdown

A  joint operation to enforce taxi safety has been undertaken by Aylesbury Vale District Council Taxi Licensing team and Thames Valley police.

As a result, two private hire vehicles were suspended for vehicle defects. Drivers were also issued penalty points against their private hire drivers’ licences and other drivers were issued Fixed Penalty Notices by police.

It took place in Aylesbury town centre to check private hire and hackney carriage vehicles were complying with their licensing conditions.

Two private hire vehicles were suspended for vehicle defects such as non-operational headlights, chipped/cracked windscreens and protruding sharp edges. Drivers were also issued penalty points against their private hire drivers’ licences for not wearing their driver badges, failing to carry first aid kits, wrong size fire extinguishers and broken lamp casings.

Other drivers were issued fixed penalty notices for not wearing their seatbelt, having defective headlights and another for failing to obey road traffic signs.  Another driver was identified by police as failing to notify the council of a recent arrest and will now face an investigation by licensing officers to determine his fitness to continue to hold a private hire drivers licence.

The Taxi Licensing team have introduced a dedicated team to complete Enhanced Vehicle Checks on all licensed vehicles to ensure that they comply with the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy and standards set by the council to ensure compliance and passenger safety.

Licensing officer Michelle Shelly said: ‘We appreciate that a bulb can go at any time in any vehicle, so we encourage drivers to carry bulbs with them in their licensed vehicles so these can be changed at the side of the road to prevent the suspension of their vehicle or incurring a penalty by the police. Aylesbury Vale is a mostly rural district and driving with a defective headlight is very dangerous.

‘Most of the types of defects identified on the night are preventable by drivers carrying out regular checks on their vehicles prior to commencing work.  Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles provide a much needed service to the public and it is the drivers and operators responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are regularly serviced and well maintained.’