Rushcliffe Reassures Taxi Users About Safety Concerns
27 October 2017
Rushcliffe Borough Council would like to reassure users of Rushcliffe licenced taxi cabs that they are safe to use and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise despite claims made in the Nottingham Post this morning.
Using a taxi cab is a safe way to get home after a good night out. The best and safest way to do this is to pre-book your journey home with a reputable local firm for collection at a prearranged time and location before you go out. If you don’t want to be tied down then end your evening at a recognised taxi rank. Hailing a taxi cab as you wander down the street is not advisable. You may not be covered by the driver’s insurance if the cab is not pre-booked and the driver may be committing an offense by picking you up in that area leading to the loss of his or her licence. Using a licensed taxi cab by pre-booking your ride home or using a recognised taxi rank means that the vehicle will have met specified standards, the driver is a fit and proper person to drive you home and that the vehicle is insured.
Taxi drivers licensed by Rushcliffe undergo a series of checks and tests to ensure they are a 'fit and proper' before they qualify for a licence. These include using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to search an individual's criminal record to establish whether or not they are a safe person to drive members of the public, checking the individual's driving history with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and a medical examination to ensure the individual is physically able to carry out the work required of a licensed driver. Individuals undergo a knowledge test, undertake vulnerable persons safeguarding training and provide two character references before we are satisfied they meet the requirements to be a licenced taxi driver.
As well as these initial checks, our Taxi Enforcement Officer carries out random checks of taxi drivers and vehicles throughout the year, often out of normal working hours and at weekends. Drivers will be given penalty points if there are any minor breaches of conditions of the driver’s license or any unacceptable behaviour. Drivers may have their license revoked if the penalty points reach the levels determined within the policy and, for major issues, licenses are suspended or revoked with immediate effect. The Council has been provided with no evidence by the City Council, or indeed the Nottinghamshire Police, to suggest Rushcliffe licenced taxi drivers are committing offences of any kind.
Darryl Burch, Service Manager for Neighbourhoods said, in response to the story in the Nottingham Evening Post: ‘We take the safety of any resident using a Rushcliffe licensed taxi extremely seriously. We fully support the City Council in taking any action within their own area but our officers are not allowed to enforce any infringements that may take place out of the Rushcliffe area. We would strongly refute any suggestion that Rushcliffe licensed taxis are not as safe to use as others. When considering whether any taxi driver is fit and proper to hold a licence, our officers have to consider ultimately would you allow your son or daughter, spouse or partner, mother or father, grandson or granddaughter or any other person for whom you care for, to get into a vehicle with this person alone?’