Stay safe over the festive period and only travel in licensed taxis – that’s the message from Rother District Council as Christmas looms.
The council has launched its annual campaign urging people to beware of bogus drivers without identity badges and vehicles not bearing official taxi licence plates.
Passengers have been attacked and sexually assaulted by bogus cab drivers in the UK.
All licensed taxis in the district are subject to a full mechanical inspection every six months, while drivers must undergo regular medical and criminal record checks to retain their licences.
The council is warning people to be on their guard during the festive season and to only travel with licensed operators.
Cllr Simon Elford, chairman of Rother District Council’s licensing and general purposes committee, said: “Christmas is a time of year when many people are out and about more than usual, visiting friends and relatives or attending parties.
“Letting the taxi take the strain is a good way of being able to have a few drinks without worrying about driving, but people should resist the temptation after a night out to jump into the first car they see.
“Only by riding in a licensed taxi can people ensure they know they’re travelling with a driver who’s been approved and vetted, in a vehicle which is properly insured and safe.
“By taking a moment to check both the car and the driver are licensed, people can make sure they stay safe and have a happy Christmas.”
Two types of taxis operate in Rother – Hackney carriages, which can wait at taxi ranks or be hailed in the street, and private hire vehicles, which must be pre-booked.
Licensed Hackney carriages display a white sign on the roof, badges carrying a licence number on both rear doors, and a white plate at the rear of the vehicle showing the registration number, licence expiry date and number of passengers it is licensed to carry.
Meanwhile, licensed private hire vehicles have a distinctive yellow taxi licence plate at the rear and corresponding door signs.
Licensed drivers have an identification badge, which must be clearly visible whenever they’re on duty.
More information is available online at www.rother.gov.uk/article/7312/Guidance-for-Passengers.
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