Public warned about illegal taxis in area

The party season may be over but people are still being urged to check they are using licensed taxis following a number of reports of unlicensed vehicles operating in the area.

Following the successful taxi safe campaign over Christmas, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s licensing officers have been made aware of a number of unlicensed drivers offering cut-price taxi services through social media sites, such as Facebook.

While it is perfectly legal for friends and family members to offer lifts, those who advertise themselves and operate for profit, without having the relevant checks and insurance, are breaking the law and can leave themselves and their passengers open to risks.

To keep the public safe, licensed taxi drivers need enhanced criminal record checks, regular health checks, an enhanced taxi driver assessment test as well have having checks made on their DVLA license.

Councillor Jackie Cracknell, portfolio holder for community involvement and performance at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “People are very much aware of getting licensed taxis or private hire vehicles over the Christmas and New Year period but this is something people have to be aware of all year round.

“Many of the unlicensed services being offered through Facebook appear to be from young and/or inexperienced drivers looking to make some extra money, meaning they have none of the experience, licenses or security checks which are needed.

“We are asking people to think carefully about how they and their loved ones are getting home after a night out and we want to make them aware of the potential dangers of getting into an unlicensed vehicle.

“The most obvious issue is that passengers may not know the drivers and when they seek lifts they could put themselves in a dangerous position.”

Paul Bellotti, head of housing, transportation and public protection at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Public safety is very important and we hope people will take on board the advice and make the right decisions when choosing how to get home from a night out.”