GMB have welcomed the launch of a consultation aimed at enhancing the safety standards for taxi and private hire vehicles.
The consultation, which will run up until 22 April, comes as part of the Government’s response to the Task and Finish Group’s report on taxi and private hire vehicle licensing. The report published in September made a series of recommendations to reform the sector. The Government has also pledged to legislate on national minimum standards for drivers, establish a national licensing database and begin to look at restricting drivers operating hundreds of miles away from where they are licensed. An aspect of the minimum standards discussed by the Department for Transport during the consultation will consider whether vehicles should be fitted with CCTV which can only be accessed if there is a crime reported. Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Organiser said: “We are pleased that cameras will reassure the public and also help prevent and identify attackers of drivers who on a daily basis are open to assault and non-payment. “Drivers have been desperate to not lose out to non-local workers or apps coming in and in essence stealing work at budget rates. As an example, a driver in Hatfield told me yesterday he had accomplished 11 Jobs for just over £44 from 5 AM till 3.30 PM. “Drivers elsewhere throughout the UK are feeling the same bite. “Operators are playing fast and loose with other’s lives. “We encourage high standards to be sure the public are protected and that drivers can seek increased remuneration based on their professionalism.”