Taxi driver pleads guilty to three offences

Mr Ibrarh Khan (29) of Carr Bottom Avenue, Bradford has been prosecuted by Harrogate Borough Council for using a licensed private hire vehicle without valid insurance, plying for hire without a hackney carriage licence and carrying more passengers than is lawful.

Mr Khan voluntarily surrendered his dual driver’s taxi licence prior to this successful prosecution.

Mr Khan attended Harrogate Magistrates Court last month (Tuesday 23 July) and pleaded guilty to all three offences and received eight penalty points for driving without insurance, along with a fine of £290. Costs of £400 were awarded to the borough council along with a victim surcharge of £30.

Mr Khan was reported to the council after being seen loading five passengers into his private hire vehicle on Kings Road, Harrogate in January. The vehicle was only manufactured and licensed to carry four passengers.

The council investigated the report and also found that Mr Khan was plying for hire without a hackney carriage licence and therefore invalidating his insurance which constituted a separate offence.

Councillor Victoria Oldham, chairman of Harrogate Borough Council’s licensing committee, said:

Valid insurance and adherence to the basic rules for taxi licensing are essential for keeping the public safe when they are using a licensed vehicle.

We conduct regular inspections and investigate reports of non-compliance to ensure that drivers are adhering to the conditions of their licence. We will do all we can to ensure drivers abide by the legal requirements and that passengers are taking a safe journey. And if they don’t, we will do all that we can to ensure they are prosecuted for their actions.

The council is reminding customers, that private hire vehicles (those with an official red Harrogate Borough Council door sign and no roof light) must be pre-booked before taking a journey. Only hackney carriage vehicles (those with an official blue Harrogate Borough Council door sign and a roof light) can be hailed on the street or be picked up from a rank.

The council promotes the highest standards of safety in all their licensed taxis and the vehicles are subject to insurance checks and a full mechanical inspection. Licensed drivers must also pass a knowledge test and regular medical and enhanced criminal record checks.

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