Driver and Private Hire Operator allowed to keep licenses after using unlicensed vehicle to ferry pa
A private hire driver from Somerset has been allowed to continue operating although he was caught using a personal unlicensed vehicle to ferry a paying passenger around. Sedgemoor District Council called the driver and his unnamed private hire operator before their licensing panel to decide whether they were still considered "fit and proper" to hold respective licenses. Both the driver and operator were reprimanded after it was revealed that the driver used a personal vehicle supplied by the operator to pick up an elderly lady from a doctor's surgery. According to the Somerset Live, the "confidential session" was held on Monday 20, with the full details of the decision being published on the Thursday. The panel said that the operator must be held accountable just as much as the driver of the vehicle and that "public trust and confidence was vital" within the private hire industry. The driver admitted driving an unlicensed vehicle. The operator accepted responsibility and said that they recognise that what they did was unlawful, but stressed that their main concern was the wellbeing of the elderly passenger. They also admitted that they were aware of the regulations that they were breaking by authorising the use of an unlicensed vehicle. The panel highlighted the seriousness of what had occurred and pointed out that it was indeed a criminal offence which would of had serious insurance implications if an incident had arisen. With everything taken into account the panel decided to issue a "final warning" to both the driver and operator and not take their licenses away. The driver received eight points on his driving licence, while the operator was issued four points on its private hire operators licence.