Council to spot-check taxi drivers

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During the festive season, Calderdale Council is taking action to check the safety of taxis operating in the borough.

Licensing and transport teams are busy doing spot checks on Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles to look at everything from the condition of lights, tyres, batteries and bodywork, to whether drivers are up to date with their insurance and licences.

These are part of the regular checks that the Council does on licensed vehicles, and are particularly important at this time of year when people may be travelling in taxis more often. The Council also takes part in regular joint operations with the Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to check the safety and legality of taxis.

In a recent joint operation – the biggest ever held in Calderdale – 40 licensed vehicles were stopped at random over a five-hour period. Minor faults were resolved the same evening but one vehicle had its licence suspended for the weekend to allow repairs to be undertaken.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Marcus Thompson, said:

“We want Calderdale to be a place where people can travel safely, especially during the busy festive period when taxis are used more. The spot checks send out a clear message that all taxi owners need to make sure their vehicles are safe. The vast majority are fully compliant and it is rare for a licence to be suspended due to the condition of a taxi. However, we won’t hesitate to take action if vehicles don’t meet the high standards that we expect.”

To minimise disruption during spot checks, drivers are given a unique sticker to attach to the licence plate to make sure they are not stopped more than once.