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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:09 pm 
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Council crackdown on poor taxi and hire company vehicles across Mid Devon

https://www.devonlive.com/news/local-ne ... re-3168066

The Council had 121 licenses vehicles on its register, and 51 of those had been proactively inspected by enforcement officers

Two licenses, five driver licenses and one vehicle license have been revoked from Hackney Carriage and private hire companies within the last year.

At a regulatory committee meeting of Mid Devon District Council, specialist lead licensing officer, Thomas Keating, told members the Council had 121 licenses vehicles on its register, and 51 of those had been proactively inspected by enforcement officers.

He explained that this was in addition to the yearly inspection required that was carried out by authorised garages.

He said “the standard was pretty good” but pointed highlighted some common issues which were found.

He said: “These were things like drivers not wearing badges, which is an offence.

"Dirty vehicles, so if we ever come across a vehicle and we think it hasn’t been cleaned in quite a while, the vehicle is sent away immediately and must be brought back for reinspection to make sure it’s nice and clean for the public to get into and use.

"We also found unreported damage to vehicles; nothing major but scrapes and dents that drivers need to be keeping on top of.

“We know that our inspections have potential limitations.

"Inspection at authorised garages is pre-arranged, so the proprietor of the vehicle knows that it’s going to be tested.

"We know we should also be proactive in inspection with the DVSA and the Police where we pull vehicles over and get them in for a real thorough check mechanically. We did this two years ago, and we hope to do that again this year.”

Mr Keating added that there had been several direct actions taken by licensing officers.

He added: “That’s things that haven’t been referred to committee, and that could be because they are so serious we feel as officers we have to take immediate action to protect the public and we can’t delay that because sometimes a hearing can take two weeks to organise and we just can’t wait that long.

“In terms of direct officer decisions in the last year, we’ve immediately revoked two driver’s licenses following notifications from issues from the police, we’ve also immediately suspended five driver licenses, and that’s to safeguard the public.

“In addition to that, we’ve immediately suspended one vehicle license because it wasn’t fit to be out working with the public.”

He added that since the end of June 2019, all taxi drivers were required to attend safeguarding training and that to date, 92 per cent had complied.

The remaining drivers would be contacted shortly and may be subject to enforcement action.


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