Police and council officers in Harrogate have held a joint safety operation to help ensure the safety of taxi passengers in the area.
•21 vehicles stopped
•5 immediate prohibition notices (vehicle ordered off road until repaired and MOT’d)
•1 delayed prohibition notice (seven days to rectify defect before vehicle ordered off road)
•4 Advisory notices issued for defects (these are separate vehicles to those given prohibition notices)
•2 fixed penalty tickets
•1 driver reported to go to court
On Friday 12 September 2014, officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Road Policing Group worked in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to carry out vehicle safety checks on private hire taxis and Hackney Carriages.
During the operation, which took place between 7pm and 11pm, a total of 21 vehicles were checked for defects and to ensure their drivers were properly licensed.
Five taxis were given immediate prohibition orders which means the vehicle was ordered off the road. This was for a variety of defects relating to brakes, tyres and transmission. One other vehicle was given a delayed prohibition order giving them seven days to rectify the defects found by the inspectors. A further four were issued with advisory notices for mechanical defects. Several of the vehicles stopped had more than one serious defect.
TS Morton said: The purpose of the operation was to ensure that standards of vehicle safety and licensing are being met with the overall aim being to promote road safety. Members of the public have a right to expect that the taxis they use are safe and roadworthy and that the drivers are properly licensed.
While many taxi drivers do maintain their vehicles, I am disappointed by the number of vehicles which presented with defects, five of which were so serious they were taken off the road and had their taxi plates suspended.
I give credit to those drivers who do maintain their vehicles correctly but sadly it appears that those who don’t, often know their vehicles have defects but drive anyway. That isn’t acceptable and puts the lives of passengers at risk.
We will continue to work in partnership with our colleagues in the other agencies to raise standards and awareness of the importance of vehicle safety and we are already planning further operations of this type.
Councillor John Ennis, Harrogate Borough Council’s Licensing Committee Chairman added: I have been surprised at the condition of these vehicles, particularly when being used to transport members of the public.
Harrogate Borough Council are committed to the enforcement of our licensing regime and tonight’s operation demonstrates this with five vehicles suspended from operation. We will be carrying out further operations within the district in conjunction with Police and I urge all taxi drivers to check their vehicles thoroughly before taking them out.