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Safety and licensing checks on taxis across the district

Thames Valley Police, in partnership with Wycombe District Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), have conducted a number of checks on licensed taxis in Buckinghamshire.

On Monday 26 March Thames Valley Police (TVP) took part in an operation in High Wycombe with Wycombe District Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council and the DVSA to conduct checks on private hire and Hackney carriage vehicles and drivers.

40 vehicles were stopped and checked in total; 31 private hire vehicles and 9 Hackney carriage vehicles.

Vehicles were checked for defects by the DVSA and for insurance and MOT by Thames Valley Police. Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe District Councils checked that the vehicle standards expected for valid licences were being met. Taxi and driving licence checks were also conducted with the drivers.

Private hire vehicles in Wycombe and Aylesbury Vale are required to display exterior signage which includes, rear licensing plate which must be fixed to the outside rear of the vehicle and side door stickers stating that journeys must be pre-booked. Aylesbury Vale also requires that a front licensing plate is displayed in the windscreen.

Private hire and Hackney carriage drivers are required to wear their driver ID badge and for it to be visible to the passengers. They are not allowed to smoke in their vehicles at any time and must have visible ‘No Smoking’ signs.

Four vehicles were given immediate prohibitions, meaning issues must be rectified immediately, for defects to indicators and detached anti-roll bars. Four vehicles were issued with delayed prohibitions for a variety of issues including seatbelts not working and worn vehicle parts.

The council suspended licences for these vehicles due to the defects, thereby taking unsafe vehicles off of the road. TVP also issued a seatbelt ticket to one driver who was sat on it and a mobile phone ticket to a member of the public.

The councils dealt with a further 18 drivers for licensing offences, which included drivers not wearing ID badges, not displaying correct vehicle signage, having damage to the vehicles and failing to have a fire extinguisher. They were given warnings and given seven days in which to rectify any defects found or face further action.

PC Liz Johnson, Thames Valley Police Road Safety Officer, said: “This was a successful operation and removed unsafe vehicles from the road. I would urge all drivers to check their vehicles on a daily basis and any fare paying passengers to ensure the driver has their identity badge clearly visible and licence plate in date. If you have any concerns about either a vehicle or driver then please do report it to the relevant licensing authority.”