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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2023 7:39 pm 
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A Police Officer from the West Country has shared his views on what taxi/PH drivers need to do to meet the seat belt requirements of the 1988 Road Traffic Act.

https://beta.southglos.gov.uk/static/f8 ... tbelts.pdf

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2023 8:03 pm 
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Saw that on TaxiPoint, and thanks for finding the original document, because the TaxiPoint piece simply named the police officer, when it might have been a good idea to say where he was from or which organisation he worked for :?

But it did say that he was a 'respected' taxi compliance officer - respected by whom?

Nothing to suggest he's not good at his job, and in fact he may be the best taxi compliance officer in the country... :-o

But does the word 'respected' mean that many LOs (or similar) aren't respected? Who knows, but I suspect the word was just added as a bit of journalistic flimflam which doesn't really mean anything, and to that extent is just a distracting irritation to many readers [-(

(And, although the document isn't dated, I wouldn't be surprised if it's not actually new at all...)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2023 8:05 pm 
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Anyway, can't be bothered wading through it all, or looking at the wording of the actual regulations, but this caught my eye, and I think it's something debated on here before. And the reason I noticed it is because it affects me personally, and it's something I think about occasionally...

Quote:
Hackney Carriage Drivers:

The requirements to wear a seatbelt do not apply to the driver of a Hackney Carriage while it is
being used for seeking hire, or answering a call for hire, or carrying a passenger for hire.

If you are not “working” you must wear a seatbelt. If outside of your Licensing Area and acting as a PHV, then PHV rules apply.

So if an HCD is called out of area for a pick up, wouldn't that be covered by the 'answering a call for hire' exemption? Obviously the compliance officer doesn't think so...

What's the source for his conclusion that 'answering a call for hire' doesn't apply to a car that's picking up out of area? :-k

As for how 'not working' is defined, even when in the relevant licensing area, let's not go there... :?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2023 9:27 pm 
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That’s the bit I don’t agree with.

The taxi/ph exemptions were put in place for the safety of drivers.

Why would parliament think those safety issues only applied in their own licensing areas?

A taxi is always a taxi, it is never a PH.

A Dundee taxi in Brighton will always be a Dundee taxi in Brighton. It will never be a Dundee ph in Brighton.

Just because taxis sometimes undertake private hire bookings doesn’t ever make them private hire vehicles.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2023 10:21 pm 
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...which in turn demonstrates another total nonsense, namely the HC/PHV distinction.

I mean, why should the rules differ between the two codes? :-s

And likes of Dundee and Brighton in particular underline the nonsense - you phone for a car, and either an HC or PHV might turn up from the office, and using precisely the same vehicles. Yet the PHD should wear the seatbelt when driving to the job, but the HCD is exempt #-o

And can't really see how the public hire scenario really changes things either :?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2023 2:31 pm 
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A HC can pick up a complete stranger at a rank or flagdown

A PH is prebooked hence it is assumed the passengers are pre screened

there is a difference therefore it follows that the safety criteria are different surely ?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2023 12:21 am 
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Quote:
A PH is prebooked hence it is assumed the passengers are pre screened

Do you really believe that? #-o

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2024 2:44 pm 
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Another questionable (in my opinion) article on seatbelts on TaxiPoint. Just skim read it for the thing I always look for, namely:

https://www.taxi-point.co.uk/post/drive ... -belt-laws

TaxiPoint wrote:
Licensed taxi drivers, when engaged in the act of 'plying for hire' or when ferrying passengers, are uniquely exempt from the requirement to wear a seat belt.

In fact, I'm quite sure the actual wording of the exemption in the regulations is:

In an earlier article, TaxiPoint wrote:
a licensed taxi while it is being used for seeking hire, or answering a call for hire, or carrying a passenger for hire

Which to me reads a bit differently to 'plying for hire'. In particular, plying for hire is defined by case law, etc, so if the regulations really do mean 'plying for hire' then why not use those words rather than 'seeking hire'?

In particular, why also make HCDs exempt when 'answering a call for hire', which presumably means a pre-booked run, and thus the HCD could be out-of-area?

To that extent I'd guess seeking hire also includes a working HCD travelling back to Fife from Dundee (say) having dropped in Dundee.

Otherwise, that would mean that if I drop drive in Dundee with POB I don't have to wear my belt, but have to put it on immediately they leave the car, because I can't ply for hire in Dundee. A couple of minutes later I could take the belt off when on the Tay Bridge, because at that point I can legitimately ply for hire :lol:

(Not sure where the Dundee/Fife boundary is, because there's no signage on the bridge itself. So presumably it's half way across, but who knows, precisely :roll: )

And even if you assume 'seeking hire' does mean precisely the same as 'plying for hire', TaxiPoint completely fails to mention the 'answering a call for hire' exemption :-o


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2024 2:46 pm 
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And, I mean, is this really what the exemption is all about?

TaxiPoint wrote:
This exemption is rooted in practicality—allowing drivers the agility to exit their vehicles swiftly should an emergency or a potential threat loom. It's a nuanced exception, reflecting a balance between the rigidity of law and the fluidity of real-world scenarios.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think that was what the exemption was all about. And it certainly isn't about London black cab drivers 'agility to exit their vehicles swiftly' to put luggage in the boot, surely? :lol: :oops:

(To be fair, I shouldn't tar all the London black cab drivers with the same brush, but as I recall it as a group they're notorious for not getting out of their cars to put luggage in the boot, etc, but it's a few years since I've read anything about stuff like that. By the same token, I'm quite sure it's a lot more difficult for a London driver to realistically even get out of their cab in practical terms if hailed, say.)

And it may be a 'nuanced exemption', but, as per the above, I don't think the TaxiPoint analysis is nearly nuanced enough with regard to the exemption per se [-(


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2024 2:55 pm 
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Just realised I've immediately broken my new rule about not posting too much on here, particularly a few hundred words of joined up writing :-o

(Wouldn't want to cause offence to those on here who don't like too many hurty words, or who prefer the approach of using a few seconds to splatter down their barely readable thoughts, or who get sniffy when topics are broached that they don't like being mentioned, blah, blah...But that's politics, I suppose, and all life is politics...))

So I promise to have the rest of the weekend off O:)

Or keep my contributions brief if I can't resist the urge to hear the sound of my own voice :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2024 8:10 pm 
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Twice last week two separate punters asked why taxi drivers don't need to wear seat belts and TBH I struggle to answer.

Yes I know about being strangled by punters, and the get out and run if need be, but really is that the best we can come up with?

I was at an event recently with the local top traffic cop and he said not wearing seat belts is becoming more the norm, and they now have the IT cameras to catch non-seat belt wearers and those using their mobiles.

We are all doomed.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2024 2:43 pm 
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A website called the Taxi Insurer provides this brief rationale:

https://www.taxiinsurer.co.uk/contact-u ... in-a-taxi/

The Taxi Insurer wrote:
The reason behind these exemptions is two-fold.

1. You’re less likely to be assaulted. A passenger can’t hold the belt and pin you to your seat while they assault or rob you.
2. It’s easier for the driver to move in and out of their vehicle to guide passengers and to help them with their luggage.

I mean, what has the first exemption got to do with purpose-built cabs with a screen, which is the most obvious popular conception of a 'taxi'?

Anyway, leaving that aside, the second rationale sounds a bit like the TaxiPoint one. But it all seems a bit manufactured. How often do HCDs need to get out, and why the need for an exemption on those grounds anyway? As a street car in a quiet area I don't do too many hires in the grand scheme of things, but guess that on average I only really need to get out of the car every couple of hours or so (I'm mainly nights and/or at the station - in which case there's not much in the way of shopping bags or the elderly/infirm, or whatever, and you need to wait at least an hour or two for each hire at the station...

In fact, on most of my night shifts I normally wouldn't really need to get out of the car at all, at least in terms of assisting passengers...)

And even at that, what's the big deal about taking a seatbelt off and putting it back on? The rationale above makes it sound like putting a Hazmat suit on and off, or whatever :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2024 2:46 pm 
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Anyway (and totally leaving a side the issue of PHDs), the same site states this as the exemption, which I think is roughly the wording from the official regulations:

The Taxi Insurer wrote:
The rule requiring drivers to wear a seat belt does not apply to a licensed taxi driver when you’re seeking hire, or answering a call for hire, or carrying a passenger for hire. However, when you’re not ‘working’ you must wear a seat belt.

The last sentence there seems to be the website's own words, but that's consistent with my own view - if I'm coming back from Dundee to Fife then I'm exempt because I'm working, while the TaxiPoint definition yesterday confined the definition to 'plying for hire', but I can't ply for hire in Dundee because it's out-of-area :?

(And let's also ignore precisely what 'working' means, particularly as I use my HC as my private transport, blah, blah...

But, for example, suppose it's kind of my night off and I'm travelling back home from Dundee and have to pass the station rank and drive into St Andrews on my way home. Like I'm going to pass the station rank with people waiting there (a very rare occurrence at the kind of times I'm thinking of, but it has happened) and forgo £20 for a ten minute run to where I'd be driving anyway? [-( So, to that extent, when am I 'working', and when am I not... :-k )


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2024 2:47 pm 
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Interestingly, the official UK Government website uses the same definition for the exemption as TaxiPoint yesterday:

https://www.gov.uk/seat-belts-law/when- ... -seat-belt

HM Government wrote:
...a licensed taxi driver who is looking for customers either by being hailed in the street or by waiting at a taxi rank (known as ‘plying for hire’)

So why do the official regulations use the words 'seeking hire' and not the more obvious 'plying for hire', and why doesn't the above include the exemption for 'answering a call for hire'? :-o

Anyway, too many words as usual, so maybe I should belt up now :lol: :oops:


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