Updated: Mar 7, 2021
A London licensed private hire driver has been slammed by a Metropolitan Police Commander for his attitude towards roads and safety advice.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service Roads & Transport Unit, pulled up to the silver Toyota Prius PHV at a set of traffic lights in the capital.
A traffic sergeant riding in the police vehicle noticed that the driver of the PHV was not wearing his seat belt, so advised him to put it on.
The response from the private hire driver of "what's it to do with you?" took the officers back, triggering a road side traffic stop.
Commander Kyle Gordon highlighted the incident on his Twitter account, saying: "When your MPSRTPC traffic sergeant advises a London taxi driver [minicab driver] stopped at lights to put their seat belt on when travelling without a fare, best response is not "what's it to do with you?". Traffic stop for one."
Taxi and private hire drivers are exempt from wearing a seat belt in certain circumstances.
Private hire drivers are only exempt from wearing a seat belt when they have a paying fare on board. In the example highlighted by Commander Gordon, there was no passenger on board, therefore the driver was breaking the law.
For hackney carriage taxi drivers, the conditions are slightly different. A licensed taxi driver is exempt from wearing a seat belt while they are being used to seek hire, or answering a call for hire, or carrying a passenger for hire.
For more details on seat belt laws in a taxi, read Drivers Passengers and Children: Who Wears a Seat Belt in Taxis.