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GARELICK: The need for a taxi and private hire NO-RIDE LIST

Since the dawn of the hackney carriage and private hire trades, assault, verbal abuse, non- payment and even sometimes murder, have unfortunately been a regular feature of both trades in some capacity by passengers.

Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Organiser, has spoken to TaxiPoint about the possibility of introducing a “NO RIDE LIST”, similar to what we see within the aviation industry with their “NO FLY LIST”. Here’s what Steve had to say:

“Recently I made a call for a no-ride list for problem or risky passengers.
“We are all accustomed to seeing the signage ‘We Will Not Tolerate Abuse Towards Our Staff’ in hospitals, doctor’s surgeries and retailers, amongst other locations, so why is it that some individuals believe they can act with impunity towards those providing their personal transportation?
“Over many years I have witnessed the outcomes and theft, including bilking (non- payment), of assault, murder and bullying from controllers and operators.
“In some cases, London taxi drivers communicate details of known bilkers and the locations they travel, to warn others, but this is not an exact science and many drivers still get caught out.
“As a resolution to some of the above I am proposing a register is created to warn and advise drivers and operators of individuals who may pose a risk to drivers. Some may say that individuals may use a different name or get friends to book on their behalf, and there are some solutions that may solve some of these issues.
“For those who book on behalf of others would find themselves added to the no-ride list under my proposals, just as certain addresses that continually show as high risk to drivers.
“Such a list would be available to drivers and operators. Just as the insurance industry holds a database of drivers to compare claims and driving history, I believe this is quite a reasonable notion.
“For years the police and courts have often done little to assist drivers who have found themselves victims of the issues discussed here.
“In a previous survey GMB undertook it became clear that many drivers do not bother to report assault, non- payment, or other criminal behaviour because they do not want to lose time and money waiting to report crime and even if they do often the police say it is difficult to prove.
“I have current proof of this when trying to see prosecutions on a driver’s behalf, or seeing a mounting amount of fictitious claims against drivers that are born out of an attempt to save the cost of a fare. Action against those who make fictitious claims, seems to never come to fruition.
“In my opinion, the private hire industry also sees bullying and threatening behaviour from controllers and operators. When this is encountered, I believe that the perpetrators should be reported to the relevant licensing authority. Fit and Proper works both ways.
“In closing I would say I am not entirely sure where administration would sit for such a database, but the discussion must start and a solution would be of value to all.
“Drivers deserve to be as safe as anyone going about their daily work and we must do all we can to make that a reality.”


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