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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-10-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Taxi drivers prosecuted

11 Private Hire Taxi drivers have appeared in Court charged with a variety of offences following a crackdown in Liverpool.  It follows an operation before Christmas by Council licensing officers and Merseyside Police which identified drivers from Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral who were trying to pick up passengers that hadn't booked or were driving without insurance. 9 drivers who faced magistrates, on Thursday, 9 March 2017, were fined a total of ₤2,670; and 8 were given 6 penalty points on their driving licences. A further 2 have pleaded not guilty and their cases were adjourned for trial, that is due to take place on 19 May 2017.

Councillor Christine Banks, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said:- "We want to make sure that our taxi industry is fair and we are determined to crack down on those drivers who are flouting the rules. Unfortunately there are a very small minority who breach regulations to make extra money and we are committed to taking action and in doing so, send a clear message out that it is not acceptable. Passengers should always ensure they only use properly licensed taxis or pre-book Private Hire vehicles, otherwise they are placing themselves in danger as they are not insured if there is an accident."

The prosecutions are part of a series of measures being undertaken by the Council and Police to crackdown on Taxi and Private Hire drivers breaking the law. On Saturday, 11 March 2017, 105 Hackney and Private Hire vehicles were inspected; with more than ˝ found to have faults that needed fixing. A total of 16 were ordered off the road straight away for issues such as broken lights and seatbelts, while another 43 were told to repair issues such as damaged seats and bodywork within 7 days. The Council has also recently put a number of Police Officers through a specialist Taxi Licensing course to help them spot vehicles that aren't complying with the law.


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