New Rules for Taxi Drivers

Amber Valley taxi drivers will have to make sure they don’t smell or smoke e-cigarettes under new council rules – but they will be able to drive electric cars.

Councillors are set to approve the new rules at a meeting of the borough council’s cabinet on Wednesday, March 20.

Taxi drivers in the borough are already subject to a vast range of rules and regulations – some to ensure they have had sufficient background checks and that their vehicle is in a good state of repair.

However, among a range of changes to these rules are that drivers must at all times “maintain a good standard of personal hygiene”.

Taxi drivers also “shall not smoke e-cigarettes in the vehicle at any time”.

Meanwhile, “electric and hybrid vehicles are acceptable provided all other specified vehicle criteria is met”.

Other changes include:

  • Limousines can only carry a maximum of eight passengers
  • No passengers can be carried if a tyre is damaged or a space saver is in use
  • Drivers over the age of 45 will be subject to medical checks every five years and every year once they turn 65
  • Driver must have 12 safety pins in their vehicle’s first aid kit
  • Exemption certificates will be available for drivers who cannot accept “accessibility animals” (such as guide dogs) for medical reasons
  • Spent convictions must be disclosed
  • All arrests, releases or criminal charges must be disclosed to the council – regardless of the outcome
  • Drivers are encouraged – but don’t have to – install CCTV in their vehicles

A report on the changes says: “The aim of licensing of the Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle trade is, primarily, to protect the public as well as to ensure that the public have reasonable access to taxi and private hire vehicle services because of the part they play in local transport provision. Its purpose, therefore, is to ensure the system is operated by fit and proper persons and to prevent licences being given to or used by those who are not suitable persons taking into account their driving record, their driving experience, their sobriety, mental and physical fitness, honesty, that they are people who would not take advantage of their employment.”

It adds the changes will “ensure that Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles in the district are safe, and that the powers are exercised in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights”.

Eddie Bisknell (LDRS)

Eddie writes for Nailed through the Local Democracy Reporting Service, in partnership with the BBC. The Local Democracy Reporting Service is a partnership of media outlets sharing reporters to cover council meetings.

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