Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Safety crackdown nets taxis and private hire vehicles

A SAFETY crackdown on private hire and taxi cabs in West Somerset has been carried out jointly by West Somerset Council, the police, and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
They joined forces for the operation last week, on Thursday, August 21, when 22 vehicles were rounded up by police motorcyclists and taken to Minehead police headquarters.
There, they were inspected by the council and VOSA.
Four prohibition notices - which stop the operator from trading with immediate effect - were issued.
Three notices were lifted after minor remedial work was completed by qualified mechanics, but one hackney carriage from outside the district had to return to its home town for remedial work.
District council licensing committee chairman Councillor Jenny Hill said: “We were pleased to find that the majority of private hire and taxi cabs were in a safe and sound condition, and those that did not meet the stringent standards only needed minor work to bring them up to scratch.
“However, it shows that we are not prepared to compromise public safety or public trust in the generally good service provided by our licensed operators.”
Police Inspector Carol Pearce said: “Road safety is an important issue for all road users, whether drivers, passengers, or pedestrians, and we were delighted to help our colleagues with this operation.
“All vehicles suffer general wear and tear, so we recommend that all drivers regularly check their vehicles to ensure that they comply with the construction and use regulations.
“Local police conduct roadside checks to ensure vehicles are roadworthy and appropriately insured and taxed.”

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