As a taxi driver the rules concerning maintenance of your vehicle are even stricter due to the fact that you are not just responsible for your personal safety but also that of your passengers. This is one of the reasons taxi drivers must have taxi insurance by law in order to protect themselves and their passengers while on the road, as well as pay for any damages if there is an accident. Police are also very strict when it comes to checking taxis, such as in Temple Meads where police spot-checked sixty two vehicles last Saturday.
Forty private hire taxis and twelve Hackney carriages were all checked to make sure they complied with legal requirements by police and staff from the Revenue and Custom, and eventually suspended ten for having defects. Ian Wilkinson from the licencing department who carried out the exercise said: “All the defects were ones obvious to any competent driver so their failure was pretty disappointing. As usual the agencies found the exercise very worthwhile.” Out of the ten vehicles suspended, seven of which were private hire vehicles and three were Hackney carriages. One penalty was issued for a tyre offence and several others for lighting offences.
Chairwoman of the public safety and protection committee at the council, Councillor Fi Hance said: “We were pleased that in most cases the vehicles examined were in good condition, as no prior announcement of the checks had been made. However, the amount of defects showed that we must be vigilant to make sure passengers are travelling in safe vehicles. We would like to thank drivers for their patience during the stop checks and assure them that operations like this make the roads of Bristol safer for passengers and other drivers.”
“The majority of taxis in Bristol are legal and safe and these operations are welcomed by responsible members of the taxi trade. Licensed Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles play an important role in Bristol, especially in relation to the night time economy, but we need to send out a clear message we will not tolerate any breaches of licensing conditions that could have a negative impact on public safety.”