Rogue taxi drivers face crackdown

ROGUE taxi and private hire drivers working in the city centre are facing a festive crackdown.

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Enforcement officers will be carrying out regular patrols on taxi and private hire vehicles
Enforcement officers will be carrying out regular patrols on taxi and private hire vehicles

The move is aimed at ensuring revellers are not put at risk by travelling in defective vehicles.

It is hoped it will also prevent the "danger" of people getting into unlicensed cars believing the drivers are legal.

Officers from the city council's taxi enforcement unit have decided to carry out regular patrols during the Christmas and New Year period.

The enforcement team has the power to stop and search not only local private hire cars, but also taxis from neighbouring ­areas which illegally operate on busy city streets.

Anyone breaking the rules will be reported to their licensing ­authority and cars with defects could be taken off the road immediately.

This month, the council's licensing committee suspended one private hire driver for six months for ­plying his trade outwith his own area.

Committee chairman Chris Kelly said: "It is important we ­protect our honest, ­licensed drivers.

"They work hard and they should not have to worry about people crossing borders to steal work from under their noses.

"The council has its own enforcement unit and this year it is carrying out a number of rigorous patrols as the party season gets into full swing.

"We have intelligence where these people like to tout for business and we are not prepared to have them stealing business from licensed drivers.

"If we see a private car picking up on the street or joining a rank, we will be asking for an explanation.

"We will also take the opportunity to ­inspect the vehicle and the driver's credentials."

Mr Kelly said in previous years a number of rogue operators decided to pack up and go home rather than face the enforcement team.

He added: "There is a real safety issue here too. We have no idea whether a car licensed outside Glasgow is safe and we have no idea if the person behind the wheel is a fit and ­proper person.

"Most worrying, when people are prepared to get into cars on unofficial ranks, they may be using cars that are not licensed anywhere.

"It may sound like a scare story but it does happen, it is very dangerous and we don't want it happening in Glasgow."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Automotive

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