Minibus drivers are being urged to check the correct licences before driving them.
This comes after five minibuses were seized over the weekend and the drivers fined after being stopped by Police. The drivers of the minibuses were all taking workers to and from factories and officers found that they didn’t have the relevant licences to allow them to drive the minibuses and to charge the passengers for the journeys.
Inspector Dave Peach, who leads the Southern Area Road Policing Unit, said: “If you are planning to drive a minibus it is important to make sure you have the correct licence - it must have a D1 category. You can check this by looking at the back of your licence where the categories of vehicles you can drive are listed. If you passed your test before 1997 you will automatically be covered to drive mini buses but not for hire or reward. You must take a separate D1 category test if you wish to drive a minibus carrying fare paying passengers. If you passed after 1997 you must take a separate D1 test in order to drive a minibus at all.
“If you intend to receive payment for transporting passengers in a minibus you must also ensure you have an Operator’s Licence - this is obtained through the Traffic Commissioner.
“It is only when you have the D1 category on your licence and the Operator’s Licence that you are legally covered to take paying passengers. Driving without the correct licences also makes your insurance void.”
Anyone caught driving minibuses without the correct licences faces a fixed penalty fine of up to £2,500 and the possible seizure of their vehicle for no insurance.