Passengers are reminded of the need to pre-book Private Hire vehicles
A man has been fined £ 500, plus another £520 costs, after he picked up a passenger even though he didn’t have the right insurance in place.
Shahid Mahmood Butt, of Chapel House Road, Nelson, attended Burnley Magistrates’ Court on 28th October. He was found guilty of not having the required licence or insurance in place, after he was identified ‘plying for hire’ on St James Street, Burnley, shortly after midnight on Saturday 16th April. As well as the fine and costs, Mr Butt was given 8 penalty points on his driving licence.
The only vehicles that are legally entitled to ‘ply for hire’ in the street, which means to pick up fare-paying passengers who have not pre-booked a journey, are those that are licensed as Hackney Carriages. The implications when vehicles other than Hackney Carriages carry passengers for hire or reward without pre-booking can be very serious. In nearly all cases, neither the vehicles, nor their passengers, are likely to be insured under the terms of private hire insurance policies.
A Burnley Council spokesperson said “This is one example of many where officers from our Licensing and Legal teams work together to ensure that taxi operators and drive are providing their service in line with the law and good practice. In response to complaints, we regularly carry out operations to identify and prosecute offenders.
“The council wants private hire vehicle operators to run their businesses successfully and safely. This means that private hire drivers such as Mr Butt have to ensure that passengers have pre-booked their journeys.
“We would ask members of the public to remember that a private hire vehicle has to be pre-booked – and this could be important for their own well-being. The only vehicles you should ever hail without booking in advance are licensed Hackney Carriages – which are often the London-style black cabs”.