Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Spot-checks operation on taxis to ensure public are safe at Christmas

A PRE-Christmas clampdown on taxi and private hire operators saw two vehicles taken off the road immediately for failing safety checks.
The operation was carried out jointly last week by West Somerset Council, police, and vehicle inspectors.
A total of 25 taxis and private hire vehicles were randomly stopped for spot-checks which were carried out at Minehead police headquarters.
Police motorcyclists rounded up hackney carriages up to eight-seats in size, and engineers from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) made safety checks.
Of the two prohibition notices which were issued - preventing the operator trading immediately - one was lifted on the same day after minor remedial works by qualified mechanics.
Council licensing committee chairman Councillor Jenny Hill said: “Taxis are very much in demand at this time of year so we were pleased to discover the vast majority of operators are keeping their vehicles in a safe and sound condition, and meeting the strict standards for public hire vehicles.
“It is vital that there is no compromise in ensuring public safety, and that people can trust in the reliability of hire transport.”
Police, who conduct roadside checks on all vehicles to ensure they are roadworthy, taxed, and insured, urged motorists to conduct regular checks on their vehicles to ensure they complied with manufacturer and use regulations.
Inspector Carol Pearce said: “These checks are a regular occurrence in West Somerset.
“By working together with all agencies, we can ensure that when a member of the public gets into a taxi in West Somerset, it is completely roadworthy.
“I would urge all drivers of motor vehicles to regularly check their lights and ensure that the windscreen washes are topped up
“Keeping your vehicle safe and roadworthy is the best Christmas present you can give yourselves, your family, and your fellow humans.
“Stay safe over Christmas, if you drink - don’t drive.”

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