Eleven private hire taxi drivers have appeared in court charged with a variety of offences following a crackdown in Liverpool.
It follows an operation before Christmas by council licensing officers and Merseyside Police which identified drivers from Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral who were trying to pick up passengers that hadn’t booked or were driving without insurance.
Nine drivers who faced magistrates on Thursday 9 March were fined a total of £2,670 – and eight were given six penalty points on their driving licences. A further two have pleaded not guilty and their cases were adjourned for trial on 19 May.
Councillor Christine Banks, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “We want to make sure that our taxi industry is fair and we are determined to crack down on those drivers who are flouting the rules.
“Unfortunately there are a very small minority who breach regulations to make extra money and we are committed to taking action and in doing so, send a clear message out that it is not acceptable.
“Passengers should always ensure they only use properly licensed taxis or pre-book private hire vehicles, otherwise they are placing themselves in danger as they are not insured if there is an accident.”
The prosecutions are part of a series of measures being undertaken by the council and police to crackdown on taxi and private hire drivers breaking the law.
Last weekend (Saturday 11 March), 105 hackney and private hire vehicles were inspected – with more than half found to have faults that needed fixing.
A total of 16 were ordered off the road straight away for issues such as broken lights and seatbelts, while another 43 were told to repair issues such as damaged seats and bodywork within seven days.
The council has also recently put a number of police officers through a specialist taxi licensing course to help them spot vehicles which aren’t compliant with the law.