A number of checks have been carried out on licensed taxis in Buckinghamshire resulting in four vehicles being given immediate prohibitions.
The checks took place on Monday 26th March 2018 in High Wycombe and Aylesbury. Thames Valley Police joined Wycombe District Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council and the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to conduct the checks on private hire and Hackney carriage vehicles and drivers.
During the operation 31 private hire vehicles were stopped as well as 9 Hackney carriage vehicles.
The DVSA checked the vehicles for defected while Thames Valley Police checked for insurance and a valid MOT test certificate. Officers from Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe councils checked that the vehicle standards expected for valid licences were being met. Taxi and driving licence checks were also conducted with the drivers.
Private hire vehicles in Wycombe and Aylesbury Vale are required to display exterior signage which includes, rear licensing plate which must be fixed to the outside rear of the vehicle and side door stickers stating that journeys must be pre-booked. Aylesbury Vale also requires that a front licensing plate is displayed in the windscreen.
Private hire and Hackney carriage drivers are required to wear their driver ID badge and for it to be visible to the passengers. They are not allowed to smoke in their vehicles at any time and must have visible ‘No Smoking’ signs.
As a result of the checks four vehicles were given immediate prohibitions, meaning issues must be rectified immediately, for defects to indicators and detached anti-roll bars. While four vehicles were issued with delayed prohibitions for a variety of issues including seatbelts not working and worn vehicle parts.
The council suspended licences for these vehicles due to the defects, thereby taking unsafe vehicles off of the road. Thames Valley Police also issued a seatbelt ticket to one driver who was sat on it and a mobile phone ticket to a member of the public.
The councils dealt with a further 18 drivers for licensing offences, which included drivers not wearing ID badges, not displaying correct vehicle signage, having damage to the vehicles and failing to have a fire extinguisher. They were given warnings and given seven days in which to rectify any defects found or face further action.
PC Liz Johnson, Thames Valley Police Road Safety Officer, said: ‘This was a successful operation and removed unsafe vehicles from the road. I would urge all drivers to check their vehicles on a daily basis and any fare paying passengers to ensure the driver has their identity badge clearly visible and licence plate in date.
If you have any concerns about either a vehicle or driver then please do report it to the relevant licensing authority.‘