East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s licensing team are putting plans in place to keep customers and drivers safe and urging festive party-goers to make sure they plan ahead and only use legitimate and licensed taxis.
The licensing team are warning people to keep safe but be wary of bogus taxi drivers as they head out to celebrate over the festive period. In particular this year the Licensing Team would like to warn party goers not be seek transport known as ‘lifts’ through social media. These are not licensed drivers or vehicles and have not been vetted or checked, do not take this risk!
During the festive season, the licensing team receives an increase in reports of bogus vehicles purporting to be legitimate taxi services. With potentially hundreds of Christmas parties taking place, anyone who travels by taxi should make sure it is a licensed taxi service or private hire car before they make their journey.
The licensing team has issued the following important information and advice for people using taxis or private hire vehicles:
- Only Hackney Carriage cabs can be hailed in the street or on a taxi rank and they should carry a plate on the back of the vehicle – East Riding licensed vehicles have a white and green colour scheme, and have a top light saying “TAXI” This will be lit up if they are available to be hired.
- Private hire vehicles must always be booked in advance and display a plate on the back of the vehicle – East Riding licensed vehicles have yellow oval stickers on the front passenger doors saying “pre-booked” only
- All licensed drivers should have a driver’s identity badge issued by the relevant council, which should be prominently displayed at all times
- Carry a telephone number of a trusted, licensed taxi or private hire company
- Do not be tempted to use ‘lifts’ through social media sites, these are NOT licensed drivers and vehicles.
- If possible, book a taxi or mini-cab in advance and ask for the name of the driver as well as the make and colour of the car
- Confirm the details with the driver when the vehicle arrives to make sure it’s the car you ordered
- If you are ordering a taxi from a public place, try not to let anyone overhear your name and address
- If you are out with friends, make sure everyone has a way of getting home
- If someone in your group has had too much to drink, accompany them to the taxi and make sure it’s a legitimate vehicle – friends should stick together and make sure everyone gets home safely
- Do not walk home if you’ve had too much alcohol as this can make you vulnerable or you may have an accident –will you be safe? Are you in control?
Councillor Kerri Harold, portfolio holder for public health and tackling inequalities at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The East Riding does have a reputation for being a safe place to be and we want everyone to enjoy themselves and stay safe.
“This year we are asking those waiting for a taxi to be aware of potential bogus vehicles. There are many ways listed above as to how to check on how legitimate a taxi vehicle should be and I would strongly recommend not getting into any vehicle if you have any doubts.”
Anyone who has any concerns about unlicensed taxis should contact the council’s licensing team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org