Revellers in Rother are being urged to stay safe this Christmas – by only travelling in licensed taxis.
Every year, the festive season offers bogus drivers who may be driving unsafe and uninsured vehicles the chance to take advantage of unwary passengers.
To combat the problem, Rother District Council has launched its annual campaign encouraging people to only use taxis and drivers which have been approved and vetted. All taxis licensed by the council are subject to annual insurance checks and a full mechanical inspection every six months, while licensed drivers must pass regular medical and criminal record checks.
Licensed taxis can be recognised by identification markings including yellow licence badges for private hire vehicles and white badges for Hackney carriages, which can be hailed in the street.
Under the slogan ‘No badge, no plate = no ride’, the campaign aims to make people aware of how they can recognise an approved taxi.
Cllr Simon Elford, chairman of the council’s licensing and general purposes committee, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time to catch up with friends and family and licensed taxis provide a much needed service, particularly for people who want to have a few drinks. However, people need to have confidence the taxi they’re getting into is roadworthy and it, and its driver, are insured and have been vetted and checked.
“Taking a moment to check that both car and driver are licensed means people can enjoy a safe journey and a happy Christmas.”
Two types of taxis operate in Rother – private hire vehicles, which must be pre-booked through a licensed operator, and Hackney carriages, which can wait at taxi ranks or be hailed in the street.
• Display a white roof sign, white licence badges on both rear doors and a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
• Have a meter which is activated as the driver pulls away and a copy of the council’s tariff card must be on display.
Private hire vehicles:
• Display yellow licence badges on the rear doors and a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
For both types of taxi:
• Rear licence plates carry vehicle registration number, licence expiry date and number of passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry.
• Licensed drivers are issued with a photographic identification badge which must be clearly visible on their person or displayed in the front windscreen
Information is available at www.rother.gov.uk/article/7312/Guidance-for-Passengers.
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