Officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Road Policing Group have carried out checks on taxis in Harrogate to ensure the vehicles are providing a safe service to passengers.
Working alongside partners from Harrogate Borough Council and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the operation, which ran from 6pm to 11pm on Friday 6 October 2017, checked a total of 16 private hire vehicles and Hackney Carriages.
Checks were made to ensure that the drivers were properly licensed and that the vehicles they were driving were safe to carry customers on the roads.
All 16 vehicles underwent full mechanical examinations for defects by the DVSA.
As a result of the checks two taxis were given immediate prohibition notices by the DVSA, meaning the vehicles were ordered off the road due to faults.
Another vehicle was given a delayed prohibition notice for a brake defect. This allowed the driver seven days to rectify the fault.
Nine drivers were advised in relation to minor vehicle defects and several others were also warned by taxi inspectors about breaches of taxi licensing rules.
A total of four taxis were suspended from working by Harrogate Borough Council due to mechanical defects and other breaches of licensing rules.
Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton said:
We have now been conducting these operations periodically for the last four years in an effort to improve safety for taxi customers.
Previous operations have found that a significant number of vehicles were below the necessary safety standards resulting in them being taken off the road. Whilst I am disappointed by the fact that this year’s operation found four vehicles that had to be taken off the road due to defects, the overall condition of the taxis seems to be starting to improve.
I want to again remind taxi drivers that it is their responsibility to ensure their vehicle is free of defects before they use it, regardless of the fact it is a company vehicle. They will be held responsible for these defects which ultimately puts their safety at risk, together with that of their passengers.
We will be continuing these enforcement operations with our partners in the coming months.
Councillor Stuart Martin, chair of Harrogate Borough Council’s Licensing Committee, said:
As the licensing authority, the safety of passengers in taxis is paramount to Harrogate Borough Council. There is no excuse for poor maintenance and inadequate daily checks. The council will follow up with further action where vehicle safety falls below the required standard.