London’s taxi representatives will ask the capital’s regulators to introduce new six month DBS checks only when a driver’s licence is next up for renewal.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) has called for the structured introduction to help both cabbies and Transport for London (TfL) deliver the new measure in a cost-effective way.
As part of the new Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards, announced by the Government last week, local authorities will be expected to implement new safety measures designed to improve consistency in the licensing system.
Criminal record checks for drivers every 6 months formed a key part of the standards, as did safeguarding training to help drivers identify and respond to passengers that may be being abused or exploited.
A recommendation for licensing authorities to consider whether the use of CCTV was also published as beneficial, but not mandatory, with potential privacy issues being taken into account.
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said: “The Department of Transport (DfT) have unveiled proposed changes to taxi and private hire licensing nationwide. One of the requirements will be that taxi and private hire drivers will need to have an enhanced DBS check every six months. “We will be proposing to TfL that the new requirement is only introduced when a licence is renewed and a fresh DBS check required. It will then be possible for members to subscribe to the DBS update service which is paid for annually and negates the need to ever update your status.
“The annual cost of the update service actually works out cheaper than paying for a check every 3 years.” McNamara went on to urge cabbies to subscribe to the DBS update service now if faced with imminent and future licence renewals.