Investigation launched into ‘fake’ taxi driver
Fenland District Council is warning people of the dangers of using ‘fake’ taxis following reports of an unlicensed driver operating in Wisbech.
The authority has launched an investigation with support from police after being made aware of claims on social media of an illegal taxi picking up passengers in the area.
Cllr Sam Clark, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder responsible for licensing, said: “We’re urging people to take care when using taxis following reports of a bogus driver. We are working with police to actively look for the vehicle and would urge anyone with information to get in touch.
“If you get into an unlicensed vehicle you are taking big risks with your personal safety,” she added. “Neither the driver nor the vehicle will have been subject to the very stringent checks we carry out and insist on to ensure the safety of the public.
“The vehicle could be un-roadworthy and neither the driver nor their passengers are insured. They are breaking the law and could face being arrested, going to court, getting fined and receiving points on their license.
“In Fenland only hackney carriages are allowed to pick up from a rank or be flagged down. They have a white licence plate on the rear and a roof light with the word TAXI on them. All other licensed vehicles must be pre-booked with a licensed operator.”
Anyone who suspects someone is acting as an unlicensed taxi driver is urged to contact the council’s Licensing team on 01354 654321 or email: [email protected] Alternatively, you can report it online at: www.fenland.gov.uk/licensingcomplaints
Stay taxi safe with these top 10 tips:
. Always use a licensed hackney carriage or a licensed private hire vehicle.
. Book your private hire journey by phone or in a taxi office. If possible pre-book your return journey before going out.
. Let a third party know the details of your journey.
. Never approach or accept a journey from a private hire driver off the street. Only taxis (hackney carriages) are allowed to pick up customers off the street.
. When your booked private hire arrives, make sure the driver can confirm your name and your destination. Check this before you get in the vehicle.
. Check the vehicle has a rear licence plate and an internal licence plate. Make a note of the licence number, or take a photo of it. A driver will not mind you doing this for your own peace of mind. If he/she does challenge you, refuse to travel with them.
. Check the driver’s photo ID. If the driver is unable to show you a badge do not get in the vehicle.
. Always sit in the back behind the driver.
. Never share a taxi with a stranger.
. If you are drunk and on your own consider calling a family member and ask them to pick you up.