Private hire drivers in Colchester are being warned they could face sanctions for not displaying company signs on their vehicles after a spike in offenders. Colchester Council have strict rules that require all licensed PHV drivers to display the company they work for on the side of their doors.
Council bosses have stressed that regulations for signage are in place to protect the public from entering vehicles that are not legitimate licensed cars.
According to a report in the Gazette News, 34 drivers were found guilty of the offence last year and so far this year 29 have already been caught. The total equates to 46 per cent of all offences recorded by the council against drivers. Punishment for the offence of incorrect or no signage is six points issued on the offender's licence and if they fall foul of the rules twice they may also be subject to a written warning and even a 28 day suspension from duties if they tot up 12 points within a year. The council's cabinet member for public safety Mike Lilley (Lab) highlighted his worries about drivers continually ignoring the rules. He said: "Public safety should be of paramount concern to everyone." He went on to say that rules exist for a very good reason; to reassure and protect passengers, but added "unfortunately some licensed taxi drivers seem determined to flout them." Lilley did want to stress that the majority of private hire companies and their drivers do carry out their trade lawfully and condemn the few that bring the trade into disrepute. He finished by saying: "We hope that all legitimately licensed private hire vehicle drivers will heed our advice, follow the rules, and continue to display the appropriate signs on the doors of their vehicles.”
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