Government proposes new guidance on taxi licensing to protect passengers
12 Feb 2019
The Government has today (12th February 2019) launched a consultation on new rules for licensing authorities outlining how they should use their powers to protect passengers in taxis and minicabs from harm.
These guidelines are intended to improve safety with enhanced safety standards for taxi and private hire vehicles, which will be consistent across the country.
New safety measures proposed include recommending councils ensure every driver undergoes enhanced criminal record and background checks.
Taxis Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
"While the vast majority of drivers are safe and act responsibly, we have seen too many cases where taxi and minicab drivers have used their job to prey on vulnerable people, women and children.
These rules would make sure that drivers are fit to carry passengers, keeping people safe while stopping those with bad intentions from getting behind the wheel of a taxi or minicab."
The consultation will run up until 22nd April and comes as part of the Government’s response to the Task and Finish Group’s report on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing, which made a series of recommendations to reform the sector in September.
The Government has also pledged to legislate on national minimum standards for drivers, establish a national licensing database and look at restricting drivers operating hundreds of miles away from where they are licensed.
As part of these minimum standards, the department will consider whether vehicles should be fitted with CCTV. These encrypted systems mean footage can only be accessed if there is a crime reported.
Today's announcement follows the case of serial sexual offender John Worboys, a London cab driver whose victims successfully challenged his release from prison last year.