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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:49 pm 
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Taxi driver fined for driving in Cornwall without a licence

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornw ... ll-3152432

Council issues warning to other taxi drivers

Taxi drivers have been warned to ensure they keep their licences up to date after an unlicensed driver was ordered to pay more than £1,100 in fines and costs after a hearing at Truro Magistrates Court.

Anthony Downer, 59, of Mevagissey, pleaded guilty to charges of driving a private hire vehicle while not holding the required private hire vehicle driver’s licence at a hearing last week.

He was handed a fine of £80, an order to pay £1,000 towards the council’s prosecutions costs plus a £30 victim surcharge.

Cornwall Council had been contacted by Mr Downer’s employer requesting confirmation of the expiry date of his driver’s licence. However, the licence had expired and Mr Downer had continued to drive private hire vehicles without the required licence.

Mr Downer stated in interview and told magistrates that he hadn’t realised that his licence had expired and also stated that he had mislaid his old licence and had not contacted the council for a replacement.

Councillor Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection, said: “What many people may not realise is that driving a private hire vehicle without the legally required driver licence places members of the travelling public at risk."

He added: “I am pleased with the outcome of this investigation which highlights the need for both drivers and operators to be vigilant in regard to the validity of their licences.”


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:53 pm 
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Cornwall Council had been contacted by Mr Downer’s employer requesting confirmation of the expiry date of his driver’s licence. However, the licence had expired and Mr Downer had continued to drive private hire vehicles without the required licence.

Mr Downer stated in interview and told magistrates that he hadn’t realised that his licence had expired and also stated that he had mislaid his old licence and had not contacted the council for a replacement.


Have spoken to drivers locally who've driven on expired badges, and as I mentioned earlier, one vehicle involved in a serious RTA turned out to be on an expired plate.

But I genuinely believe they were oversights, particularly back when the council didn't send expiry reminders.

But here, why didn't the driver take steps to find out whether his badge was still valid and get a replacement badge from the council rather than leaving it to the operator? His excuse doesn't seem credible.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:03 pm 
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Cornwall Council had been contacted by Mr Downer’s employer requesting confirmation of the expiry date of his driver’s licence. However, the licence had expired and Mr Downer had continued to drive private hire vehicles without the required licence.

](*,)

The firm has a duty to ensure the driver is licensed, they should have had procedures in place to ensure they never gave him a job whilst he was unlicensed,

Quite simple really. The dispatch system should be set up to not give work to those unlicensed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:29 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Cornwall Council had been contacted by Mr Downer’s employer requesting confirmation of the expiry date of his driver’s licence. However, the licence had expired and Mr Downer had continued to drive private hire vehicles without the required licence.

](*,)

The firm has a duty to ensure the driver is licensed, they should have had procedures in place to ensure they never gave him a job whilst he was unlicensed,

Quite simple really. The dispatch system should be set up to not give work to those unlicensed.


On the brief evidence available here I gave the operator the benefit of the doubt. Could well be that their procedures flagged up that the driver's badge had expired, they asked him to clarify, he was evasive or misleading, so they asked the council to clarify, and the council took a while to do so, and the driver continued working in the meantime.

There are no timescales mentioned, so it could have been a couple of days, or a couple of years, who knows?

If it was a short period then I'd be less inclined to blame the operator, if a longer period then they should share more of the blame.

Of course, I could be completely wrong, but on the evidence available, who knows, precisely?

And perhaps the operator is being prosecuted (or other action taken) separately.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:44 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Cornwall Council had been contacted by Mr Downer’s employer requesting confirmation of the expiry date of his driver’s licence. However, the licence had expired and Mr Downer had continued to drive private hire vehicles without the required licence.

](*,)

The firm has a duty to ensure the driver is licensed, they should have had procedures in place to ensure they never gave him a job whilst he was unlicensed,

Quite simple really. The dispatch system should be set up to not give work to those unlicensed.


On the brief evidence available here I gave the operator the benefit of the doubt. Could well be that their procedures flagged up that the driver's badge had expired, they asked him to clarify, he was evasive or misleading, so they asked the council to clarify, and the council took a while to do so, and the driver continued working in the meantime.

There are no timescales mentioned, so it could have been a couple of days, or a couple of years, who knows?

If it was a short period then I'd be less inclined to blame the operator, if a longer period then they should share more of the blame.



Of course, I could be completely wrong, but on the evidence available, who knows, precisely?

And perhaps the operator is being prosecuted (or other action taken) separately.



The firm is mentioned as the drivers employer which I take to mean he drove a company car,which means he had to give his paper license to the proprietor of the vehicle(company),if this is the case the company knew when the license expired and committed several offences including employing an unlicensed driver,allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a licensed vehicle,allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a licensed vehicle without a valid insurance cover in place,endangering fare paying passengers safety by using vehicle without insurance,just to name a few.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:10 am 
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heathcote wrote:
The firm is mentioned as the drivers employer which I take to mean he drove a company car,which means he had to give his paper license to the proprietor of the vehicle(company),if this is the case the company knew when the license expired and committed several offences including employing an unlicensed driver,allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a licensed vehicle,allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a licensed vehicle without a valid insurance cover in place,endangering fare paying passengers safety by using vehicle without insurance,just to name a few.


As I recall it that's the law as regards HCDs, but does that apply to PHDs as well?

Unfortunately the official council news release is just the same text as that reported by the newspapers (it's on several different websites). No mention of the operator being prosecuted, though:

https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and ... p-to-date/


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:29 pm 
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If they have even a standard/basic dispatch system the driver would have been given a number of reminders from the office. Sort of a countdown 1 month, 1 week, 1 day etc.

And after that no work would be dispatched to the unlicensed driver.

All that said, the responsibility to ensure the driver is licensed is 100% down to the driver. The firm's procedures might need looking at, but the driver is the one at fault.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:09 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
If they have even a standard/basic dispatch system the driver would have been given a number of reminders from the office. Sort of a countdown 1 month, 1 week, 1 day etc.

And after that no work would be dispatched to the unlicensed driver.

All that said, the responsibility to ensure the driver is licensed is 100% down to the driver. The firm's procedures might need looking at, but the driver is the one at fault.


Not according to the Act,Operator is responsible as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
If they have even a standard/basic dispatch system the driver would have been given a number of reminders from the office. Sort of a countdown 1 month, 1 week, 1 day etc.


I was kind of assuming it was a small-town operation using pen and paper :-s


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:06 pm 
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Not according to the Act,Operator is responsible as well.

Only if the driver has received work from the operator.

That's not clear from article.

The fact that the driver doesn't appear to have been charged/convicted of an insurance offence indicates that he more and likely didn't take any punters unlicensed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:16 pm 
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In small rural areas firms seldom use despatch systems or have the staff available to input that sort of data

More likely the firm works on trust and I know if one of my drivers missed their renewal the council would be on the case immediately

That said the driver would have received a renewal notice and it is rather surprising "hadn't realised" more likely a bit short so thought he would sort it next month :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:18 pm 
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But you should have copies of their licenses.

Unless all your cars are hackneys then it doesn't matter.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:52 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
But you should have copies of their licenses.

Unless all your cars are hackneys then it doesn't matter.



precisely :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:39 am 
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edders23 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
But you should have copies of their licenses.

Unless all your cars are hackneys then it doesn't matter.



precisely :wink:

But that does open up the question as to why all booking offices don't legally have to keep records of work, no matter which side of the trade they dispatch work to. :-k

Pretty certain north of the wall they do.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:40 am 
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Sussex wrote:
edders23 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
But you should have copies of their licenses.

Unless all your cars are hackneys then it doesn't matter.



precisely :wink:

But that does open up the question as to why all booking offices don't legally have to keep records of work, no matter which side of the trade they dispatch work to. :-k

Pretty certain north of the wall they do.



difficult to record rank and flag downs as drivers rarely call them in and that would mean having to have staff in the office to record everything

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