Taxi and private hire safety inspection results

Thursday, 24 November 2022

A joint operation to inspect taxi and private hire vehicles to ensure the safety of the travelling public took place in Scarborough on the evening of Friday 18 November.

Our licensing team joined forces with North Yorkshire Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to undertake the inspection of 14 taxi and private hire vehicles.

The vehicle inspectors primarily looked for defects such as steering systems, brakes, faulty headlights, problems with indicators, illegal tyres and worn handbrakes. The licensing team also checked that licensed drivers were fully compliant with our taxi and private hire policy, and government legislation.

Two thirds of the vehicles inspected were either given a clean bill of health or a simple advisory warning. Six vehicles were found to have no discernible defects.

Three vehicles received a delayed prohibition notice, which is a warning about issues that could cause the vehicle to fail an MOT, and one received a fixed penalty notice for a headlamp offence.

A few of the advisory warnings given related to: brake pads being worn, engine management light, oil light warning, leaking shock absorber, vehicle lights and a ball joint. 

A number of drivers were found to be committing offences either for failing to wear their badge or failing to display their photographic ID. Badges must be worn and on display so that they are clearly visible to anyone wishing to see them.

Some warnings were issued for dirty cars and drivers were reminded that it is a prosecutable offence to permit a private hire vehicle to pull onto a hackney carriage rank.

The failure to operate a hackney carriage meter was an offence identified on a number of occasions and one driver was dealt with for slightly exceeding a 30 mile per hour speed limit.

The inspection results compare favourably with previous operations. However, the fact that some vehicles were deficient and some drivers committing offences remains a concern and we are likely to consider prosecution in some cases.   

Councillor Michelle Donohue Moncrieff, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said:

“These inspections are a very important part of our commitment to the safety of the travelling public so it is positive news that the majority of vehicles inspected were fine or received simple advisories.

“Licensed drivers must adhere to the law with regard to vehicle maintenance, tax and insurance to ensure the safety of all road users. 

“We will organise more snap inspections in the near future and will take firm action where vehicles are found not to be fully roadworthy. The same will apply to drivers found to be non-complaint, particularly where they fail to display the mandatory photographic ID notices or fail to wear ID badges.” 

Traffic Constable Mark Patterson, North Yorkshire Police, added:

“The results of the operation show the value of partnership working to increase the safety of road users, in this particular instance ensuring that the taxi and private hire vehicles operating in the Scarborough area are safe and compliant with regulations.

“Inspections allow us to improve the standards of the vehicles, operators and drivers, and make them as safe as possible for their customers.

“It was good to see that only a small number of vehicles had safety issues. At the same time the inspection acted as a reminder to those in the taxi and private hire trade that they should not become complacent with vehicle safety. They should ensure that regular safety checks are carried out and any defects remedied straight away.”