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Council considers a ban on front seat passengers in Taxi and Private Hire vehicles to tackle allegat

Members from South Ayrshire Council are considering introducing new rules to the taxi and private hire industry that will see an end to front seat passengers. Concerns have been raised surrounding false accusation threats made towards drivers by female passengers that were sitting next to them. During one incident reported by the Daily Record, a private hire driver was threatened by young girls who were not willing to pay for a trip. They allegedly warned the driver that they would falsely report him to the police for inappropriate conduct if he was to pursue payment. Some drivers have also contacted the council to raise concerns about how close the front passenger is sitting to them in some of the larger vehicles used by taxi and private hire drivers. At times drivers are highlighting the difficulties involved in using the vehicles controls without accidentally touching the passenger that is sitting within inches of them. A consultation will take place to asked the question to the public about whether or not they should be allowed to sit in the front of a taxi or private hire vehicle. They will also be asked, in some cases where larger taxis have two front passenger seats, If only one passenger should occupy the front rather than two. Council leader Brian McGinley have assured that the proposals are as much about protecting the drivers as the passengers. Some South Ayrshire taxi and private hire drivers want the decision left in their own hands. If the decision is made to restrict the amount of passengers riding upfront, it will have an overall effect on the amount of passengers that can travel at any one given time, possibly reducing the amount of fares some drivers with larger vehicles get. Council members have said that if approved, the new rules would only apply to newly licensed vehicles.

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