A recent crackdown on taxi vehicles at East Midlands Airport found over 85% of vehicles stopped met the required standards.
The regional enforcement campaign, included officials from Bolsover District Council and North East Derbyshire District Council, the Police and the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), saw spot checks carried out on over 140 vehicles, with 120 of these passing with flying colours.
All the vehicles from Bolsover District and North East Derbyshire that were checked were found to be satisfactory. However, 20 taxis from other areas did not reach the required standards.
Four of them received prohibitions for failing to have tyres that meet safety requirements. Two drivers were reported for not having road tax, and another was given a fixed penalty notice for having a tyre tread below the legal limit. Others were also warned about more minor defects such as broken bulbs.
Cabinet Member for Licensing Councillor Brian Murray-Carr said, "This initiative highlights that the majority of taxi drivers take care of their vehicles and ensure they meet high standards when it comes to safety. It is very important to us and our partners that we participate in enforcement campaigns to identify those that don’t comply with the law and licensing requirements.
North East Derbyshire District Council’s member with responsibility for Licensing, Councillor Michael Gordon said, “It’s very reassuring all the vehicles inspected from North East Derbyshire and Bolsover were found to be satisfactory. Public safety is our absolute priority and we hope this operation has helped spread this message among drivers of licensed vehicles. What we need now is for better and more stringent legislation from government to make sure taxis and those driving them are fit and proper for the safety of the public.”
Inspector Ivan Odell from Leicestershire Police said: "Once again this was a highly successful operation and demonstrates the value of partner agencies working collaboratively and effectively to improve the safety of the travelling public. The vast majority of taxis and licensed vehicles were being operated safely and legally but this operation will be repeated and should serve as warning to those who choose to continue to operate outside the law."
Bill Harrison, DVSA enforcement delivery manager, said: “DVSA’s first priority is to protect the public from unsafe drivers and vehicles. Our frontline staff worked alongside their police and local authority colleagues, and used their powers to take some of these dangerous vehicles and drivers off of the road. The vast majority of taxis checked were safe, with properly licensed drivers, which was pleasing to see."
During the initiative, a vehicle which was not a taxi was also flagged up on Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology and found to have no road tax, no insurance, no MOT, and defects including illegal tyre tread. The driver also did not have a DVLA licence. The car was seized and the driver was reported.