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‘EXCESSIVE’: Councillors REJECT proposal to introduce DVLA checks on taxi drivers every six-months

Plans to bring in DVLA penalty point checks every SIX MONTHS for licensed taxi drivers in Walsall were binned after licensing councillors deemed the action ‘excessive’.

In December 2022, members of the Taxi Licensing Sub-Committee originally requested a report to be made by the Licensing and Safety Committee to consider the introduction of six-month DVLA checks for licensed drivers. DVLA checks are done every 3 years.

Walsall currently has 1,368 licensed drivers, of which a handful of drivers have been found to have failed to inform the licensing authority of points endorsed on their DVLA licence.

Where drivers fail to inform the licensing authority of points on their DVLA licence, a warning letter is sent from the Head of Community Safety and Enforcement informing the licence holder of their breach of conditions and consequences of the breach or further breaches would result in a review of their licence.

However, on review, councillors were keen not to punish the vast majority of drivers who continue to be compliant with the current rules set in place. There were also concerns that further red-tape and costs could push drivers out to nearby Wolverhampton for cheaper and easier licensing.

Councillor Aftab Nawaz said: "I'm totally against this. I don't understand why if we found one or two cases where one or two individuals have done something wrong, the whole trade has to suffer doing six-monthly checks.

"One bad apple doesn't dictate which kind of policy we have. They don't do it in any other part of the country. I don't understand why Walsall has to become an outlier and put on more costs on to our struggling drivers.

"If officers said the three yearly checks are not working and we've got a huge problem, that may be a time to consider such things. But that's not happened. We have to be careful we don't keep on imposing such restrictions on the trade that the trade becomes so lumbered by the cost of being a taxi driver in Walsall that they then go off and be a driver in Wolverhampton."


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