Major crackdown on law-breaking taxi drivers

Councils have joined forces to launch a new enforcement scheme to make taxi journeys safer by making it harder for drivers to break the law.

Six local authorities in Yorkshire will be able to take action against taxi and private hire drivers licensed in neighbouring council areas as part of the scheme.

Taxis in Halifax town centre

Taxis in Halifax town centre

Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale and York councils are part of the cross-border enforcement initiative to clamp down on illegal and unsafe driving.

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The move means it will be easier to take action against those who operate without insurance or a licence, pick up passengers on the street who have not pre-booked and drive with vehicle defects, council bosses said.

Bradford Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, Coun Sarah Ferriby, said: “It makes absolute sense to carry out cross-border enforcement. When we travel by private hire or taxi we do not restrict our journeys to one area, so licensing authorities shouldn’t restrict how we enforce the rules around driving those vehicles.”

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The six councils said they were drawing up further policies to improve driver training and make sure drivers are suitable to hold a licence.

Coun Ferriby added: “It is worth saying that the majority of taxi and private hire drivers and their vehicles are safe and comply with the law. For them this change will have no impact.

“It is those who believe that the law doesn’t apply to them, who selfishly drive without considering the safety of their passengers, who will notice a change.”