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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:06 pm 
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Taxi driver loses licence and another has vehicle seized in airport crackdown

A taxi driver had his car seized and another had his licence suspended during spot checks around East Midlands Airport. In total, 74 taxi drivers had checks carried out at the airport on Thursday in a joint operation by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC), Leicestershire Police, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

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 cars were found to have serious defects. The car that was seized belonged to a taxi driver who was using a vehicle that he was not licensed to use.

The driver who had his licence suspended was found to have broken a list of rules, by failing to have a spare tyre or inflation kit, having a defective headlight, an out of date First Aid kit and an empty fire extinguisher. Licensing officers also concluded there was evidence someone had been smoking in the vehicle, which is a criminal offence.

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 HMRC team. Four prohibitions were issued for drivers failing to have tyres that met 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.

Councillor Alison Smith MBE, deputy leader and portfolio holder for community services at NWLDC, 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 suspending 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 are up to scratch or risk losing your livelihood.”

DVSA enforcement expert Dell Evans said: “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.”

Inspector Ivan Odell, from Leicestershire Police, added: “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.”

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